sierakowski23_SOPA-images_GettyImages-Poland-protest-PS A woman holding a Polish and EU flags

How Eastern European Populism is Different

Only in Europe’s post-communist east do populists routinely beat traditional parties in elections. Of 15 Eastern European countries, populist parties currently hold power in seven, belong to the ruling coalition in two more, and are the main opposition force in three.

WARSAW – In 2016, the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency created an impression that Eastern European-style populism was engulfing the West. In reality, the situation in Western Europe and the United States is starkly different.