Skip to main content

Kukovič, Simona, and Petr Just (eds.). The Rise of Populism in Central and Eastern Europe, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022.


Cognisant of the ongoing pandemic and political turmoil across Europe, this timely book examines the growing influence of populist movements in Central and Eastern Europe. Simona Kukovič and Petr Just bring together contributions from experts working in the fields of political science and sociology to study the roots and ramifications of populism in this historically turbulent region.

Developing a critical analysis of both left- and right-wing populist movements and notorious populist leaders throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the book explores the ways in which populism has spread through developed and developing countries in both established and more recent democracies. Chapters investigate the origins of nationalist populism in the region, from historical trauma and social and economic instability to the emerging crisis facing traditional parties and institutions. It further considers the progressive impact of social media as a means through which populist leaders can penetrate the political space. Positioning itself in defence of liberal democracy, the book ultimately seeks to uncover what unites and inspires the populist community emerging across Central and Eastern Europe.

Contributing to the urgent scholarly debate surrounding the rise of populist leaders, political parties, and movements throughout Central and Eastern Europe, this incisive volume will be an essential read for researchers and academics invested in better understanding why the region is such a hotbed of European populism.

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.