This thesis aims to analyze demagogic politics and its reinforcing premises--Fear, Prejudice, Ignorance--through a case study involving the Italian politician, Matteo Salvini. This political practice that can be traced back to Ancient Athens, nevertheless, remains a potent force and an important explanation for contemporary political phenomena. By exploiting the emotions of the common people, rational analysis gives way to ill-considered passion, enabling the demagogue to secure popular support. At a time when right-wing populism has surged in Western Democracy, many have conflated the terms ‘demagogue’ and ‘populist’. However, in order to maintain the order and stability of democracy, it is imperative to maintain and comprehend the distinction between these terms. Specifically, the thesis will provide an extensive analysis of demagoguery, including its historical origins and its reliance upon the unholy trinity--Fear, Prejudice, Ignorance--. The political career of Matteo Salvini under Lega will be offered as a demonstrative paradigm of the modern demagogue.


Matteo Salvini, Demagogic politics, Demagoguery, Italy

Document Type


Year of Completion



Political Science


Dr. M.A. Soupios