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Prof. István Benczes


Institute of World Economy, Corvinus University of Budapest

Scientist-in-Charge, Corvinus University of Budapest, and WP5 Leader

POPREBEL project

In my work I apply a political economy approach to economic populism, with the aim of re-conceptualising and operationalising the phenomenon. I intend to contrast the classical definition of economic populism developed in the context of Latin America (see Dornbusch and Edwards 1991) with the current trends of (political) populism in Europe. I intend to address both the causes and the consequences of populism in the research. As far as causes are concerned, special attention will be paid to the alleged or real effects of the global financial and economic crisis. Furthermore, the consequences of the most recent tide of populism (and populist governments in particular) will be assessed in the economy by searching for commonalities, if any, in economic policies pursued under populist regimes. In the context of CEE, the main objective is to detect and understand the supply side of the phenomenon, underlining the institutional dimension of policy change.


  • Benczes, I. and Benczes, R. (2018) ‘From financial support package via rescue aid to bailout: Framing the management of the Greek sovereign debt crisis’, Society and Economy, 40 (3), pp. 431-445
  • Benczes, I. (2016) ‘From goulash communism to goulash populism: The unwanted legacy of reform socialism’, Post-Communist Economies, 28(2) pp. 146-166
  • Benczes, I. (2014) Deficit and debt in transition: The political economy of public finances in Central and Eastern Europe. Budapest-New York: CEU Press
  • Benczes, I. (2014) Crisis in the West and the East: Economic governance in times of challenge. Vienna: WVFS

Work in Progress:

‘Economic populism: From a macroeconomic perspective to a micro view’

‘Taking back control over the economy: Reconceptualising economic populism’