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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

Multiple Varieties of Populism in Central and Eastern Europe

Europe (Central and Eastern)
 
European Politics
 
Political Parties
 
Populism
 
Mixed Methods
 
Narratives
 
Party Systems
 
Political Ideology
 
Presenter
Bartek Pytlas
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU
Sarah Engler
University of Zurich
Authors
Bartek Pytlas
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU
Bartek Pytlas
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU
Sarah Engler
University of Zurich
Kevin Deegan-Krause
Department of Political Science, Comenius University Faculty of Arts

Abstract
The more populism enters public debates the more it needs close scrutiny. Central and Eastern Europe offers a perfect context for exploring the diversity of parties identified as populist; anti-establishment sentiment provides a useful conceptual starting point because of its pervasive role in that region’s political discourse. Using a new expert survey, this article details the relationship between anti-establishment salience and political positions, showing that while anti-establishment parties occupy a full range across both economic and cultural dimensions, many others occupy centrist positions. Narrowing the focus to content analysis of anti-establishment parties’ thin ideology in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, we concurrently find that for many actors (including those usually labeled as populist) anti-establishment rhetoric is indeed predominant, yet not always extensively combined with other elements of populism: people-centrism and invocation of general will. The findings are important for understanding multiple varieties of anti-establishment politics also beyond the region.
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