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Pytlas, Bartek; Engler, Sarah and Deegan-Krause, Kevin (2018): Multiple Varieties of Populism in Central and Eastern Europe. ECPR General Conference. Panel Built to bend? Populist and radical parties' influence in the multi-level political arena, Hamburg, 22. - 25. August 2018.

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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. (Presented by Bartek Pytlas and Sarah Engler.)

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