Resisting neoliberalism - Poland's new populism and its alternatives

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This article considers the re-emergence of populism in Poland. With an all but absent left, the anti-neoliberal position in Poland emerged from the right. The article explores the processes associated with this and critically evaluates the populist turn asking if this is a rejection of neoliberalism or whether recombinant populism is increasingly compatible with contemporary neoliberalism. Despite widespread dissatisfaction with post-communist transition, first through Shock Therapy, second through Europeanization, and more recently through the so-called global financial crisis, former dissidents have been co-opted into the reproduction of neoliberalism. In the absence of a more forceful left response in Poland, the population has proclaimed its outrage with the hardships of post-communism by discovering a captivating message from the populists. The emergence of populist social forces has become one of the mechanisms for the disenfranchised to make sense of the pressures of neoliberalization. Populism, nationalism and neoliberalism can happily co-exist.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Sociology
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Poland
  • political economy


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