Framing right-wing populist satire: The case-study of Ghisberto’s cartoons in Italy

By: Chiara Polli andCarlo Berti


Volume: 06
Issue: 02:2020
ISSN: 2459-2943
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2020.0020
Pages: 29-55
Lic.: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
right-wing populism
political cartoons
multimodal analysis



Over the last few years, right-wing populism has increased its popularity and political weight, successfully merging with Euro-scepticism, nationalism, xenophobia, religious symbolism, and aggressive forms of conservatism (e.g., anti-feminism, homophobia, and, in general, patriarchal politics). Several studies have focused on the communication strategies of contemporary populism, examining the latter’s use of traditional and new media. So far, however, little attention has been paid to the role and language of right-wing populist satire. Our study draws on the ideational approach to populism to explore how right-wing populism is expressed in satirical cartoons. This approach perceives populism as a thin-centered ideology, based on a Manichean division between ‘good people’ and ‘evil elites,’ which regularly combines with other ideological components (e.g., nationalism, Euroscepticism, xenophobia). Our analysis focuses on the Italian cartoonist Ghisberto, known for his provocative and frequently controversial work. We examine a sample of Ghisberto’s vignettes using multimodal analysis tools and Greimas’s notion of isotopy. The aim is to investigate how right-wing populist satire constructs its different targets (the EU, left-wingers, migrants, NGOs, women, etc.) and how populist ideology exploits cartoons’ communicative resources and power.


Download full text: PDF

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: seo services | Thanks to seo company, web designer and internet marketing company