Send in the Clowns? Carnivalesque Populism in the UK Independence Party and the Five Star Movement

  • Abstract:

    As the 2014 European Parliament elections have shown, Eurosceptic parties have become increasingly popular in recent years across Europe, perhaps as a consequence of the economic and financial crisis. In this context, the paper discusses the rise of two Eurosceptic populist parties , the UK Independence Party in Britain and the Five Star Movement in Italy from the point of view of Bakhtin’s concept of the carnivalesque. It is argued both parties use carnivalesque tropes, such as the reversal of hierarchies and the use of carnivalesque humour, to underscore their populist discourse and criticise the political status quo.