1st Edition

New Conservatives in Russia and East Central Europe

Edited By Katharina Bluhm, Mihai Varga Copyright 2019
    322 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the emergence, and in Poland, Hungary, and Russia the coming to power, of politicians and political parties rejecting the consensus around market reforms, democratization, and rule of law that has characterized moves toward an "open society" from the 1990s. It discusses how over the last decade these political actors, together with various think tanks, intellectual circles, and religious actors, have increasingly presented themselves as "conservatives," and outlines how these actors are developing a new local brand of conservatism as a full-fledged ideology that counters the perceived liberal overemphasis on individual rights and freedom, and differs from the ideology of the established, present-day conservative parties of Western Europe. Overall, the book argues that the "renaissance of conservatism" in these countries represents variations on a new, illiberal conservatism that aims to re-establish a strong state sovereignty defining and pursuing a national path of development.

    1 Introduction: toward a new illiberal conservatism in Russia and East Central Europe

    Katharina Bluhm and Mihai Varga

    Part I. Genealogies

    2 Russia’s conservative counter-movement: genesis, actors, and core concepts

    Katharina Bluhm

    3 The universal and the particular in Russian conservatism

    Paul Robinson

    4 Against "post-communism": the conservative dawn in Hungary

    Aron Buzogány and Mihai Varga

    5 New conservatism in Poland: the discourse coalition around Law and Justice

    Ewa Dąbrowska

    6 The national conservative parties in Poland and Hungary and their core supporters compared: values and socio-structural background

    Jochen Roose and Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski

    7 "Conservative modernization" and the rise of Law and Justice in Poland

    Krzysztof Jasiecki

    Part II. Translations

    8 The limits of conservative influence on economic policy in Russia 

    Irina Busygina and Mikhail Filippov 

    9 The "BudapestWarsaw Express": conservatism and the diffusion of economic policies in Poland and Hungary

    Ewa Dąbrowska, Aron Buzogány, and Mihai Varga

    10 Gender in the resurgent Polish conservatism

    Agnieszka Wierzcholska

    11 "Traditional values" unleashed: the ultraconservative influence on Russian family policy

    Katharina Bluhm and Martin Brand

    12 Religious conservatism in post-Soviet Russia and its relation to politics: empirical findings from ethnographic fieldwork

    Tobias Köllner

    13 Ready for diffusion? Russia’s "cultural turn" and the post-Soviet space

    Sebastian Schiek and Azam Isabaev

    14 The emergence and propagation of new conservatism in post-communist countries: systematization and outlook

    Katharina Bluhm and Mihai Varga


    Katharina Bluhm is Professor of Sociology at the Freie Universität, Berlin.

    Mihai Varga is Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Institute for East European Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin.

    New Conservatives is a highly important collection which offers far more than a standard set of well-researched case studies. Its original reframing of illiberal trends in post-Communist Europe as a new conservative challenge, and stress on reflexive actors rooted in the evolving civil and political societies of the region goes a long way to filling the widening gaps in current explanations that have been over-focused on party politics and over-reliant on generic models of a populist surge brought about by economic shocks and flagging Europeanization. - Seán Hanley, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London in The Slavonic and East European Review

    This excellent study […] focuses on three cases which are rarely combined, i.e. Russia, Poland and Hungary. Comparing them not only allows us to spot their differences and similarities (vide: the great conclusion chapter by the editors) but also enables a deeper understanding of conservatism in the realities of the post-communist East Central Europe. - Alicja Curanović, University of Warsaw in TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research

    Over the past decade European democratic regimes have begun to take on the features of non-democracies by using legal restrictions on protest and constitutional amendments, refusing to register political parties and restricting referendums. This book focuses on how policymakers responsible for these changes self-legitimize and legitimize political decisions, which makes it a timely, interesting and relevant contribution to studies on illiberal democracies and contemporary political theory. - Joanna Rak, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań in JCMS - Journal of Common Market Studies