New Conservatives in Russia and East Central Europe  book cover
1st Edition

New Conservatives in Russia and East Central Europe

ISBN 9781138496866
Published August 10, 2018 by Routledge
322 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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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