Donatella Campus Marco Mazzoni


Celebrity may be a successful strategy for political leaders. The article intends to detail how this happens, what specific styles are adopted, how they are differentiated and especially how they have changed over time. We will argue that, while legacy media have produced certain models of political celebrity, the opportunities offered by the communicative structures of social media have encouraged the introduction of new elements. Starting from the assumption that celebrity may help leaders to reinforce their claim of closeness to the people, the article focuses on Italian populist leaders.

It discusses commonalities and differences with the aim of advancing the comprehension of how celebrity operates in political contexts. The choice of covering two distinct periods - from the early 1990s-to 2000s and from the 2010s to the present- allows a diachronic comparison with the aim of identifying possible trends.