Abstract and Keywords
This chapter provides an overview of the ideological character and electoral strengths of populist parties in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. It argues that the circumstances of democratic transition gave rise both to radical and to centrist populist parties, and that both subtypes have remained distinct and enduring features of the party systems of these countries. However, while populists have played important roles in defining ideological choices, their electoral strengths and role in government should not be overstated. No general rise in populism has occurred over the period of democratic consolidation; instead, we can observe significant country-level variation in the nature and strength of these parties.
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