The argument in the chapter is that the construction of political communities and the constitution of liberal democracy in East-Central Europe has remained conflictual and contested during the entire period of transformation. The distinctive ‘backlash’ in the most prominent cases – those of Poland and Hungary - did not ‘fall from the sky’, but is part and parcel of the ongoing struggle over the finalité of post-communist transformation. A core dimension of this struggle is between centre-left liberal and post-communist forces, and centre-right ones. The latter contest the ‘liberal consensus’ and the general direction of post-1989 democracy-building, presented as the only available alternative. The rightwing reaction, often labelled populist, to anti-totalitarian liberal democracy, generally takes a conservative form. The chapter starts with a brief discussion of conservative populism in East-Central Europe. Subsequently, the emergence of conservative populism is discussed with regard to two case-studies, of Hungary and Poland. The cases are exemplary for a conservative backlash to the post-1989 project. The in-depth study of the two most developed cases of conservative populism in government will give us a better understanding of the challenges to pluralistic democratic societies throughout the region but also of their very distinct nature.

Conservative Populism in Defiance of Anti-Totalitarian Constitutional Democracy

Paul Blokker
2022

Abstract

The argument in the chapter is that the construction of political communities and the constitution of liberal democracy in East-Central Europe has remained conflictual and contested during the entire period of transformation. The distinctive ‘backlash’ in the most prominent cases – those of Poland and Hungary - did not ‘fall from the sky’, but is part and parcel of the ongoing struggle over the finalité of post-communist transformation. A core dimension of this struggle is between centre-left liberal and post-communist forces, and centre-right ones. The latter contest the ‘liberal consensus’ and the general direction of post-1989 democracy-building, presented as the only available alternative. The rightwing reaction, often labelled populist, to anti-totalitarian liberal democracy, generally takes a conservative form. The chapter starts with a brief discussion of conservative populism in East-Central Europe. Subsequently, the emergence of conservative populism is discussed with regard to two case-studies, of Hungary and Poland. The cases are exemplary for a conservative backlash to the post-1989 project. The in-depth study of the two most developed cases of conservative populism in government will give us a better understanding of the challenges to pluralistic democratic societies throughout the region but also of their very distinct nature.
Anti-Constitutional Populism
297
335
Paul Blokker
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/864821
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact