Kiss, Tamás, and István Gergő Székely. “Populism on the Semi-Periphery: Some Considerations for Understanding the Anti-Corruption Discourse in Romania.” Problems of Post-Communism (2021): 1-14.
The article analyzes why and how anti-corruption has become a quasi-hegemonic metanarrative and identity marker of urban middle classes in Romania, and argues that it is part of a complex identity discourse that is in essence populist. It pits “the People” against the elites, it displays an exclusionary character, and the hostility toward elected institutions is also present. While scholarly accounts rarely associate Romanian anti-corruption discourse with populism (because of its putative “progressivism”), we argue that it should be regarded as a prominent example of a new form of populism emerging on the semi-peripheries of the Western core.