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POPULISM in CENTRAL and EASTERN EUROPE

Prof. Jan Kubik

Professor of Slavonic and East European Studies

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies 

Professor of Political Science

Rutgers University

POPREBEL Principal Investigator

www.ucl.ac.uk/ssees/node/5379

POPREBEL project: ‘Populist rebellion against modernity in 21st-century Eastern Europe: neo-traditionalism and neo-feudalism’

As the Principal Investigator of the project I supervise all of its aspects, particularly the development of its conceptual and theoretical apparatus. The idea of POPREBEL emerged gradually through many discussions we had within its sister project, FATIGUE. The title is deliberately provocative for, as Shmuel Eisenstadt has seminally argued, there are several paths toward modernity. The animus of populism, particularly of its right-wing variety, is however directed against the dominant ‘Western’ form of modernity, built on the ideals and practices of liberal democracy and capitalist economy. Is it, however, anti-modern in its rejection of all paths toward modernity, or just the one that has become hegemonic in the Western mind? Our key concepts of neo-traditionalism and neo-feudalism are introduced to help us answer this question.

Building on the general conceptual and theoretical frame of the project that I have helped to develop, I will prepare a chapter for our main publication that will summarize the most important findings of our research work. My own empirical work is carried out within the sub-project coordinated by EDGERYDERS. I am engaged as an ethnographic coder of the online conversation carried out in Polish. We expect to achieve a deep and nuanced understanding of the motivations that drive people to support populists of various hues.

Publications