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The Political Economy of Populist Rule in Post-Crisis Europe: Hungary and Poland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Political Economy
Published1 Jan 2019

King's Authors


This paper analyses the economic dimension of populist governance in post-crisis Europe by exploring whether and in what ways populist economic policies diverge from neoliberal orthodoxy. Existing literature on contemporary populism in Central and Eastern Europe is ambivalent on this question and lacks systematic analyses of populist economic policies while in government. The comparative analysis of the Fidesz-led government in Hungary and the Law and Justice government in Poland is used to analyse the policy shifts in different domains. The main claim is that a combination of both domestic ideological change at the level of government and transnationally conditioned structural factors need to be considered to explain the shift towards and the variation in the pursuit of a ‘heterodox’ economic strategy under the two populist governments. The paper concludes by offering a reflection on why the analysed policy changes do not correspond with a more decisive shift towards an alternative trajectory of capitalist development in post-crisis Europe.

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