skip to main content

Dr Seán Hanley

Associate Professor in Comparative Central and East European Politics

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

WP4 Researcher

Follow Seán on Twitter at @drseanhanley

POPREBEL project: ‘The emergence of an illiberal populist left in Central Europe’

My contribution examines Central European states, where illiberal populism has also expressed itself strongly on the left through transformation or realignment of mainstream social democratic parties, politicians and milieux, principally Czechia and Slovakia. I seek to establish extent to which a distinct ideology of “illiberal social democracy” framed in populist terms has emerged or is emerging on the social democratic left in Czechia and Slovakia; to assess the responses– understood in terms of co-operation, competition and co-optation – of social democratic parties across Central Europe  to the emergence (radical) right and other populist challengers; and to consider if and how the adoption of greater illiberal populism explains the success of Slovakia’s Smer compared to Social Democrats in Czechia and other countries in the region.

Key publications