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Populism in Poland

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Populism Around the World

Abstract

Populism has had a significant impact on Polish politics in the post-communist era, and for the last decade and a half, the party system has been characterised by the conflict between populist and non-populist forces. This chapter describes the political strategies and popular appeal of the two current populist formations, the governing Law and Justice party and the opposition Kukiz’15 movement, placing their emergence and electoral success in the context of a historically recursive ‘us versus them’ divide in Polish politics and the increasing significance of public fatigue with a liberal-orthodox model of democratic transition and consolidation. It concludes that these movements, respectively, represent two distinct strands of populism found across the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe: a radical antiliberal critique of the political status quo and an ideologically amorphous anti-establishment appeal based primarily on rejection of the moral legitimacy of the existing elites.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Technically, PiS does not have a single-party majority, as it shared its electoral list with the minor United Poland (Solidarna Polska, SP) and Poland Together (Polska Razem, PR; now called Porozumienie). However, both parties are ideologically aligned with PiS and act in complete accordance with PiS’s agenda.

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Correspondence to Mikołaj Cześnik .

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Stanley, B., Cześnik, M. (2019). Populism in Poland. In: Stockemer, D. (eds) Populism Around the World. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-96758-5_5

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