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Economic Policies of Populist Leaders – new book edited by István Benczes


Providing a comparative analysis of Central and Eastern European economies, this book explores the economic impacts of populism in those countries in the region which have seen some form of populist rule. Populism has been thriving in the new member states of the EU ever since the outburst of the global financial and economic crisis, but unlike the cases of Latin America, Brexit or the Trump administration, the emphasis has not been on trade protectionism or unsustainable macroeconomic policies in these countries. This book demonstrates that studying macroeconomic variables such as fiscal balance or current account positions cannot tell the whole story of the economic consequences of populism. Instead, a more nuanced scrutiny of who gets what under populist rule is required. Adopting the ideational definition of populism, the volume shows that Central and Eastern European populists have heavily reshaped redistributive policies; yet, they have not neglected the budget constraint of the general government. Instead, there has been a tendency to disregard the institutional constraints of decision-making in the economy and, in turn, to redefine the regulatory framework and property rights structure of the respective economies. This innovative edited volume will be of interest to readers in political economy and political science who wish to better understand the impacts of populism.

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