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Plutocratic leadership in the electoral arena: three Mitteleuropean cases of personal wealth in politics

Published on Apr 26, 2019in Comparative European Politics1.20
· DOI :10.1057/s41295-019-00187-0
Matteo Giglioli (UNIBO: University of Bologna), M. F. N. Giglioli
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Abstract
Two of the most consequential trends in European politics over the past decade have been the rise of populism and the progressive personalization of elections. The present article seeks to link them by focusing on a third phenomenon: the entry of plutocrats (individuals with systemically relevant material resources, who can afford to finance their own campaigns and parties) into direct political competition. The phenomenon is analyzed with reference to the literature on new and entrepreneurial parties, stressing the strategic freedom financial independence affords. The weakening of the traditional mediation function of political parties is identified as the initial structural shock allowing for plutocratic entry. Plutocratic politicians’ activities are studied with regard to party organization, ideological stance, communication style, and institutionalization chances. The theoretical framework is developed inductively from a close contextual analysis of three Mitteleuropean cases: Frank Stronach and Team Stronach in Austria, Andrej Babis and ANO in the Czech Republic, and Christoph Blocher and the SVP in Switzerland.
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Published on May 1, 2019in European Journal of Social Theory1.44
Ingolfur Blühdorn13
Estimated H-index: 13
(WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business),
Felix Butzlaff2
Estimated H-index: 2
(WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Despite the burgeoning literature on right-wing populism, there is still considerable uncertainty about its causes, its impact on liberal democracies and about promising counter-strategies. Inspired by recent suggestions that (1) the emancipatory left has made a significant contribution to the proliferation of the populist right; and (2) populist movements, rather than challenging the established socio-political order, in fact stabilize and further entrench its logic, this article argues that an...
Published on Sep 20, 2018
Jack Corbett9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
Wouter Veenendaal6
Estimated H-index: 6
Published on Nov 2, 2018in Post-soviet Affairs2.20
Andrew L Roberts11
Estimated H-index: 11
(NU: Northwestern University)
ABSTRACTThis article relies on a unique survey of Czech millionaires and the general public to probe the nature and extent of the differences in opinions between these two groups and their correspondence with public policy. Its main finding is that millionaires are substantially more right-wing than the public on economic issues and somewhat more internationalist on foreign affairs, though a number of areas of agreement can be found as well, particularly assessments of the problems facing the co...
Published on Oct 18, 2018
Jack Corbett9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
Wouter Veenendaal6
Estimated H-index: 6
Published on Jul 3, 2018in East European Politics
Seán Hanley11
Estimated H-index: 11
,
Milada Anna Vachudova16
Estimated H-index: 16
(UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
ABSTRACTDemocratic backsliding in Central Europe has so far been most acute in Hungary and Poland, states once considered frontrunners in democratisation. In this paper, we explore to what extent developments in another key frontrunner, the Czech Republic, fit initial patterns of Hungarian/Polish backsliding. Our analysis centres on the populist anti-corruption ANO movement, led by the billionaire Andrej Babis, which became the largest Czech party in October 2017 after winning parliamentary elec...
Published on Jul 3, 2018in East European Politics
Antoaneta Dimitrova14
Estimated H-index: 14
(LEI: Leiden University)
ABSTRACTThis article proposes that to understand backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe, we need a broad “Tillyian perspective” emphasising elite–citizen interactions and the role of the state. The article views backsliding as the outcome of processes of state capture by rent-seeking elites united in party ideological or network configurations. Simultaneously, citizen protests provide an indication of (Tillyian) struggles for the growth of democracies with a broader societal basis. As differe...
Glenn Kefford3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
Duncan McDonnell12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Griffith University)
Scholars in recent decades have discussed the emergence of a new leader-dominated party type, variously described as ‘personal’, ‘personalistic’ and ‘personalist’. However, there has been no original comparative research examining whether (and how) such parties resemble one another organizationally and whether they constitute a distinct organizational type. This article does so by comparing the parties of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and Clive Palmer in Australia. Based on interviews with those in...
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