Skip to main content

Populism in Poland

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Populism Around the World


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  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.


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mikołaj Cześnik .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Stanley, B., Cześnik, M. (2019). Populism in Poland. In: Stockemer, D. (eds) Populism Around the World. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics