Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, and her party Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) are the big winners of the country’s general election. As Sofia Ammassari and I discuss in our article, the result represents two historic firsts: Meloni is going to be Italy’s first woman prime minister, and hers will be the first far-right majority government in Western Europe since the end of the Second World War.

Meloni’s result marks a new point in my own history of following Italy. From being an undergraduate Irish exchange student in Trieste in the mid-1990s and watching the rise of a tycoon-turned-politician Silvio Berlusconi, I ended up living well over a decade in the country and writing books about the fortunes of the Italian right-wing coalition. Until recently, they had produced a series of Berlusconi-led populist centre-right governments with a far-right edge. Now, however, the pendulum has swung and Italians will soon be living under a far-right populist government with a centre-right edge.

As Sofia and I explain, this will have some elements of continuity on economic and foreign policy, but may also bring in change.

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Duncan McDonnell

Professor of Politics

What will its first far-right leader since WWII mean for Italy?

Sofia Ammassari, Griffith University; Duncan McDonnell, Griffith University

Italy will have its first woman prime minister. And both Italy and Western Europe will have their first far-right majority government since the fall of Mussolini and the end of the Second World War.

Iran protest at enforced hijab sparks online debate and feminist calls for action across Arab world

Balsam Mustafa, University of Warwick

Feminist campaigners are using the internet to challenge the conservative establishment and empower Arab women.

5 xenophobic myths about immigrants in South Africa debunked by researchers

Anthony Kaziboni, University of Johannesburg

Scapegoating immigrants will not result in significantly improved healthcare service provision, reduced crime or less unemployment.

Hilary Mantel was one of the great voices of historical fiction – and so much more

Dinah Birch, University of Liverpool

A short guide to the Wolf Hall author’s remarkably varied back catalogue.