This is the first book-length account of populism in the Visegrád Four (V4) countries — Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia — for the first 30 years of multi-party competition since the transformative events of 1989–91 in Central and Eastern Europe.
Advancing a post-foundational approach to populism based on a semi-formal reading of Ernesto Laclau's theory, the book undertakes a detailed examination of how the 'people' has been constructed in populist discourses in the party systems of the four countries since 1989. Drawing on a wealth of source material, the book offers both a wide-ranging and in-depth overview and classification of populism in the V4 in terms of discursive (e.g. centrist, conservative, left-wing, liberal, nationalist, social) and hegemonic type (e.g. authoritarian hegemonic, generational counter-hegemonic) alike.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of populism, party politics, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Discourse, Hegemony, Populism, and the Visegrád Four
1. Discourse – Hegemony – Populism: A Conceptual Horizon
2. Discourse – Hegemony – Populism: A Framework for Analysis
3. Populism in the Czech Republic
4. Populism in Hungary
5. Populism in Poland
6. Populism in Slovakia
7. Conclusions: Discourse, Hegemony, and Populism after ’89
Seongcheol Kim is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Kassel, Germany, and a Visiting Researcher at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany.
"Seongcheol Kim’s book is a unique and indispensable contribution to the debate on populism in East-Central Europe. It is the first in-depth and comparative analysis of populist discourse in the four Visegrád countries, covering the whole of the post-1989 period and using primary sources in their original language. The book is all the more important because it puts populism in the historical perspective of the post-communist transformation, showing a variety of manifestations, and stressing the need for careful, informed, and contextual analysis."
Paul Blokker, University of Bologna, Italy
"By grounding his argumentation on a challenging post-foundational framework, which is then employed to illuminate contemporary politics in the Visegrád Four, Kim excels on two fronts. First, he offers a uniquely nuanced analysis of populism in the region, beyond stereotypical applications of the term. Second, he endows critical populism research with a comprehensive and illuminating take on concrete cases like Poland and Hungary, which are often neglected in this Laclau-inspired tradition."
Yannis Stavrakakis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece