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With a proliferation of scholarly work focusing on populist, far-left, and far-right parties, questions have arisen about the correct ways to ideologically classify such parties. To ensure transparency and uniformity in research, the discipline could benefit from a systematic procedure. In this letter, we discuss how we have employed the method of ‘Expert-informed Qualitative Comparative Classification’ (EiQCC) to construct the newest version of The PopuList (3.0) – a database of populist, far-left, and far-right parties in Europe since 1989. This method takes into account the in-depth knowledge of national party experts while allowing for systematic comparative analysis across cases and over time. We also examine how scholars have made use of the previous versions of the dataset, explain how the new version of The PopuList differs from previous ones, and compare it to other data. We conclude with a discussion of the strengths and limitations of The PopuList dataset.
In recent years, Central and Eastern Europe have furnished several examples of illiberalism in power. The most prominent and consequential cases are Fidesz, which has ruled in Hungary since 2010, and Law and Justice (PiS), which has ruled in Poland since 2015. In both cases, illiberal governments have embarked upon an extensive project of political reform aimed at dismantling the liberal-democratic order. We examine the nature, scope, and consequences of these processes of autocratisation. We first argue that illiberal changes are ideologically founded and identify how both populism and nativism figure in the policymaking of illiberals in power. We then show how these practices emerge from a common “illiberal playbook”—a paradigm of policy change comprising forms of forging, bending, and breaking—and elaborate on the notion that illiberal governments are using legalism to kill liberalism. The fine-grained approach that we employ allows us to distinguish between different rationales and gradations of illiberal policymaking, and assess their implications for the rule of law, executive power, and civil rights and freedoms
This contribution is conceived as a resource on the state of European populist parties before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reports on cross-national comparative findings generated by data collected from 30 European countries as to the state of populist parties in one calendar year (2019) and provides an extensive qualitative overview of the national cases. The article shows that while populist parties are preponderantly on the right, there is a significant degree of ideological variation among European populism. The data show significant diversity in their electoral performance but also that populist party participation in government is no longer a marginal phenomenon. The article ultimately elaborates on the various types of positions on European integration – from soft/hard Euroscepticism to lack thereof – and discusses the implications of their affiliation in the European Parliament.
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