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Engler, Sarah; Pytlas, Bartek; Deegan-Krause, Kevin (2019): Assessing the diversity of anti-establishment and populist politics in Central and Eastern Europe. In: West European Politics, Vol. 42, No. 6: pp. 1310-1336
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Abstract

The more populism enters public debates, the more it needs close scrutiny. Central and Eastern Europe offers a useful context for exploring the diversity of parties identified as populist. Anti-establishment rhetoric provides a suitable conceptual starting point because of its pervasive role in the region's political discourse. Using a new expert survey, this article details the relationship between anti-establishment salience and political positions, showing that anti-establishment parties occupy a full range across both economic and cultural dimensions and many occupy more centrist positions. Narrowing the focus to content analysis of anti-establishment parties' thin ideology in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, it is concurrently found that for many actors (including those usually labelled 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.