1st Edition

Economic Policies of Populist Leaders A Central and Eastern European Perspective

Edited By István Benczes Copyright 2024
    298 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Providing a comparative analysis of Central and Eastern European economies, this book explores the economic impacts of populism in those countries in the region which have seen some form of populist rule. Populism has been thriving in the new member states of the EU ever since the outburst of the global financial and economic crisis, but unlike the cases of Latin America, Brexit or the Trump administration, the emphasis has not been on trade protectionism or unsustainable macroeconomic policies in these countries. This book demonstrates that studying macroeconomic variables such as fiscal balance or current account positions cannot tell the whole story of the economic consequences of populism. Instead, a more nuanced scrutiny of who gets what under populist rule is required. Adopting the ideational definition of populism, the volume shows that Central and Eastern European populists have heavily reshaped redistributive policies; yet, they have not neglected the budget constraint of the general government. Instead, there has been a tendency to disregard the institutional constraints of decision-making in the economy and, in turn, to redefine the regulatory framework and property rights structure of the respective economies. This innovative edited volume will be of interest to readers in political economy and political science who wish to better understand the impacts of populism.

    Foreword (Jan Kubik)


    1. Introduction: Economic policy of populist leaders in Central and Eastern Europe (István Benczes)


    Part I.


    2. Populism and economic policies: The implications of populism as a thin-centred ideology in the economy (István Benczes)


    3. Contemporary populism in Central and Eastern Europe (Natasza Styczyńska and Jan D. Meijer)


    Part II.


    4. The (mis)use of unconstrained political power: the Hungarian economy (István Benczes)


    5. Economic populism in Poland: New economic policies and their beneficiaries (Joanna Orzechowska-Wacławska)


    6. From belt-tightening to scorched earth? (Karel Svoboda)


    7. Populism in the making: The case of Slovakia (István Kollai and Bence Bánki)


    8. Slovenia: The rise and fall of Janez Janša? (Dženita Šiljak)


    9. Opposition in government: The atypical case of Croatian Most/Bridge (Viktória Endrődi-Kovács)


    10. Macroeconomic populism in the Baltics: Real effective exchange rate, current account deficit and the economic consequences of populist rule (Gábor Kutasi and Denis Ivanov)


    11. National-neoliberal fiscal populism in Romania (Cornel Ban)


    12. Where populism has become the mainstream: The case of Bulgaria (Urangoo Bulgamaa)


    13. Taking stock: Populist governments and the economy in CEE (István Benczes)


    István Benczes is Full Professor at the Corvinus University of Budapest, and scientific advisor at the Centre for Regional and Economic Studies, Budapest, Hungary.