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Photo:Flag of Slovenia (40015536335),” by Balkan’s Photos licensed under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic. Hue modified from the original.

Lovec, Marko, Faris Kočan, and Melika Mahmutović. “The ‘Brussels bubble’: populism in Slovenia in the EU crises context.” Teorija in praksa. revija za družbena vprašanja 59, no. 2 (2022).


The focus of this article is on the rise of populism and Euroscepticism in the context of the crisis of liberal internationalism and of the EU in particular. The article considers the view that the weak integration of Slovenian–EU politics makes the country vulnerable to this trend. Modern-nationalist, postmodern-cosmopolitan and faux-modern-partially modernised variations of populism are explored. The research draws on public opinion surveys, party manifestos, focus groups with party supporters, and interviews with mediators in elite and popular debates. The dominant modern economist/functionalist view of the EU is shown to have fed into different framings in line with the underlying thick ideologies. On the right, this has been a retro-modern nationalist reaction to the EU’s overly progressive policy and polity, with certain illiberal faux-modern elements like authoritarianism and ethno cultural exclusivism. On the left, it has reinforced the already existing contradictions with (neo)liberalism on the level of politics, leaving the post-modern post-nationalist framing detached from the EU’s polity and policy. The article offers some proposals for better integrating the EU politics in Slovenia.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.