Work, Family, Fatherland: The Political Economy of Populism in Central and Eastern Europe

Journal of European Public Policy (Forthcoming)

41 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2020

See all articles by Mitchell A. Orenstein

Mitchell A. Orenstein

University of Pennsylvania - School of Arts & Sciences

Bojan Bugaric

University of Sheffield, Department of Law

Date Written: September 29, 2020

Abstract

Since 2008, Hungary and Poland have developed a distinctive populist economic program, which has begun to spread to other Central and East European Countries (CEECs). This article develops a theory of the political economy of populism in CEECs, arguing that these countries’ dependence on foreign capital constrained them to follow (neo)liberal economic policies. After the global financial crisis, populist parties began to break from the (neo)liberal consensus, “thickening” their populist agenda to include an economic program based on a conservative developmental statism. Case studies of Hungary, Poland, and Serbia describe these policies and show that they exhibit a particular form of economic nationalism that emphasizes workforce activation, natalism, and sovereignty. This shift has gone hand-in-hand with attempts to attract investments from Eastern authoritarian states, illustrating the connection between CEEC development strategies and sources of foreign capital.

Keywords: Political economy, populism, Central and Eastern Europe, developmental statism, neoliberal, conservative, illiberalism

Suggested Citation

Orenstein, Mitchell A. and Bugaric, Bojan, Work, Family, Fatherland: The Political Economy of Populism in Central and Eastern Europe (September 29, 2020). Journal of European Public Policy (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3701890 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3701890

Mitchell A. Orenstein

University of Pennsylvania - School of Arts & Sciences ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mitchellorenstein.com

Bojan Bugaric (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield, Department of Law ( email )

Bartolome House, Winter Street
Sheffield, S37ND
United Kingdom
+44 (0)114 222 6770 (Phone)

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