Hague Journal on the Rule of Law

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 21–33 | Cite as

Varieties of Populism in Europe: Is the Rule of Law in Danger?

  • Bojan Bugaric
  • Alenka Kuhelj


What the current surge of populism shows is that the rule of law and liberal democracy find themselves in great danger when the breadth of democratic support for their core principles begins to decrease. Both in Hungary and Poland, the populist forces relatively easily undermined the rule of law and democracy, and steered politics in a dangerous authoritarian direction. Ultimately, democratic political parties with credible political ideas and platforms offer the best hope for protection of liberal democracy. As the Western European examples show, as long as there exist credible liberal political platforms, the threat to the rule of law and democracy is not existential. While populists in Western Europe challenge certain liberal values and policies, they lack the capacity to threaten the essence of liberal democracy.


Populism Rule of law Democracy Authoritarian populism Varieties of populism Central and Eastern Europe Western Europe Constitutionalism 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of AdministrationUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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