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Neoliberal Capitalism and the Visegrad Countermovements

Our special issue—Neoliberal Capitalism and the Visegrad Countermovements—is finally out & complete.

The four Visegrád countries (V4) are widely perceived to be undermining liberal democracy and the stability of the European Union they joined in 2004. The essays in this special issue approach this new populism as a countermovement in the sense of Karl Polanyi: a societal reaction to neoliberal marketization in a dependent periphery. Its varying national forms are shaped both by socialist legacies and long-term historical configurations. In this introduction, we argue that cultural-historical approaches can be fruitfully combined with analyses of contemporary political economy and global dependencies.

It's been great working on the articles with:

  • Stuart Shields: Domesticating Neoliberalism: ‘Domification’ and the Contradictions of the Populist Countermovement in Poland;

  • Anna Malewska-Szałygin: Countermovements: Rural Social Imaginaries Confronting Neoliberal Economics and Politics in Southern Poland;

  • Juraj Buzalka: Village Fascists and Progressive Populists: Two Faces of the Countermovement in Slovakia;

  • Johana Wyss: Exploring Populism Through the Politics of Commemoration;

  • Kristóf Szombati: The Consolidation of Authoritarian Rule in Rural Hungary: Workfare and the Shift from Punitive Populist to Illiberal Paternalist Poverty Governance;

  • Eszter Bartha & Andras Toth: The Emasculation of Trade Unions and Workers’ Drift to Neonationalism in Hungary;

  • Felix Ringel: Postsocialist Dialectics or Postindustrial Critique? On Discomfort in a Former Socialist Model City in East Germany;

  • and of course Chris Hann, whose article analyzes the dialectics of civil society and populism in provincial Hungary.


Take a look at the content of the special issue here. Several articles are available open access, including the introduction, and my comparative analysis on dependent development and populism in East-Central Europe.


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