Welfare state agenda of successful populist parties in Czechia and Slovakia

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Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Problemy Polityki Społecznej - Social Policy Issues
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Web article - open access
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.31971/pps/149634
Keywords Slovakia; Czechia; welfare state; right-wing populism; centrist populism
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Description Several studies suggest that the welfare state agenda, which has traditionally been a crucial issue for left-wing populist parties (LWP), has become important for all kinds of populist parties: centrist-populist (CP) as well as right-wing populist (RWP). In this paper, we examine the role of the welfare state agenda in the election programmes of the Czech and Slovak populist parties that either won the elections in 2017 in the Czech Republic and in 2020 in Slovakia (this was the case of CP parties in both countries) or they won representation in Parliament in these elections (this was the case of RWP parties). The findings show that the welfare state agenda of CP and RWP parties regarding the pattern of welfare state objectives and deservingness criteria applied in their policy proposals does not differ so much in some respects. At the same time, the policy proposals of CP in the two countries diverge to some extent. Specific country political contexts such as the political opportunity structure and the manoeuvring of the populist parties may provide some explanation. Comparison with the other countries is a challenge for future research.
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