The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Populism: A Comparative Analysis of the U.S. and Slovakia

Open access


The dynamics of political campaigning is as unique as the people and party platforms that inhabit the campaign period. The progress of certain political personalities or of political parties themselves insure a positivity to the political process in contrast to statism. Not all change is welcome surely, but the fact that such activity occurs within pluralist democracy is a sign of vitality in both practice and principle. One such change in recent political campaigns has been the increased popularity of candidates and parties espousing populist platforms and rhetoric. While in the United States, such represented interest is historically based from the late nineteenth century, in Slovakia it is more recent, but no less significant in its historical roots. In the following paper the methodology of a comparative analysis is employed to investigate populism within the United States and Slovakia while utilizing the theoretical context of neoclassical realism that has populism in the national context: personalization of politics, catch-all policies, media centricity, professionalization and political marketing.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Albertazzi D; McDonnell D 2008. Twenty-First Century Populism. Palgrave MacMillan.

  • Arditi B 2007. Politics on the Edges of Liberalism: Difference Populism Revolution Agitation. Edinburgh University Press.

  • Canovan M 1981. Populism. Houghton Mifflin.

  • Čemez A. and M. Klus 2012 “Politický marketing v podmienkach SR a ČR” [Political Marketing Conditions in the Slovak Republic and Czech Republic] in 20 rokov transformácie: postavenie politickej komunikácie v Českej republike a na Slovensku [20 Years of Transformation: The Status of Political Communication in the Czech Republic and Slovakia] ed. V. Žúborová 104-120. Trnava: UCM in Trnava.

  • Deegan-Krause K and Haughton T 2009. “Toward a More Useful Conceptualization of Populism: Types and Degrees of Populist Appeals in the Case of Slovakia”. Politics & Policy 37 No. 4 pp. 821-841.

  • Dornbusch R. and Edwards S. eds 1991. The Macroeconomics of Populism. University of Chicago Press.

  • Franzese R 2007. ‘Multicausality Context-Conditionally and Endogeneity’ In: Carels Boix and Susan Stokes. ed(s). The Oxford Handbook of Political Science. Oxford University Press: New York. pp. 29-72.

  • Fritzsche P 1990. Rehearsals for fascism: populism and political mobilization in Weimar Germany. Oxford University Press.

  • Guy P 1988 ‘The Importance of Comparison’. In: ‘Comparative Politics Theory and Methods.’ Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 2-27.

  • Gyárfášová Oľga - Slosiarik Martin: “Pravica ľavica a hodnoty v strednej Európe” [‘Right Left and Values in Central Europe’] OS monthly No.1/2008.

  • Kavanagh D 1995. Election Campaigning: The New Marketing in Politics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Judis J “The Return of the Middle American Radical”. National Review. October 2 2015. Available at:

  • Kazin M 1995.The Populist Persuasion: An American History. Cornell University Press.

  • Krivý Vladimír: “Dominantné kolektívne identity na súč asnom Slovensku” [‘Dominant Collective Identities in Contemporary Slovakia’] in Krivý Vladimír - Danglová Oľga: Svet mnohých ‘my a oni’. Kolektívne identity na Slovensku [World of Many ‘Us and Them’: Collective Identities in Slovakia] (Bratislava: Centrum excelentnosti SAV „Kolektívne identity“ 2006.

  • Laclau E 2005. On Populist Reason. Verso.

  • Landman T 2008 ‘Why Compare Countries?’. In: Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics: An Introduction. 3rd ed. London: Routledge pp. 3-22.

  • Lowndes J. and Warren D “Occupy Wall Street: A Twenty-First Century Populist Movement? Dissent. October 21 2011.

  • Meny Y. and Surel Y 2002. Democracies and the Populist Challenge. Palgrave Macmillan

  • Mesežnikov G. Gyárfášová O. Smilov D (eds.) 2008. Populist Politics and Liberal Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. Bratislava: Institute for Public Affairs.

  • “Politici vyzývali na vlastenectvo” [‘Politicians Appealed on Patriotism’] Sme daily July 7 2008.

  • Taguieff P.A 2002. L’illusion populiste [The Populist Illusion]Paris: Berg International.

  • “Sviatok: Fico na Devíne vyzýval na výchovu k vlastenectvu” [‘Holiday: Fico in Devín Called on Education to Patriotism’] SITA news agency July 5 2007.

  • Swanson L. and Mancini P 1996. Politics Media and Modern Democracy: An International Study of Innovation in Electoral Campaigning and Their Consequences. Greenwood Publishing Group Inc.

  • Wood R 2002. Faith in Action: Religion Race and Democratic Organizing in America. University of Chicago Press.

  • Žúborová V 2012. 20 rokov transformácie: postavenie politickej komunikácie v Českej republike a na Slovensku. [20 Years of Transformation: The Status of Political Communication in the Czech Republic and Slovakia]Trnava: UCM in Trnava.

  • Žúborová V “Get Negative - the Case of Offensicve Campaign in 2010 Slovak Parliamentary Election” Slovenská politologická revue 11 (2011a) pp. 71-87

  • Žúborová V “Marketizácia vonkajšej reklamy v parlamentných voľbách 2010 v slovenskej republike” [Marketization of outdoor advertising in the parliamentary elections in 2010 in the Slovak Republic] Acta Politologica. [Political Action] 3(2011b)

  • Žúborová V “Re-definícia typológie politických aktérov v kontexte s politickou komunikáciou a politickým marketingom” [Re - definition of the typology of political actors in the context of political communication and political marketing] Slovenská politologická revue 10 (2010) pp. 59-85

  • Žúborová V. and M. Žúborová “Metodický pohľad na funkciu a činnosť webových stránok politických strán v podmienkach Slovenskej republiky” Slovenská politologická revue 13 (2013) pp. 305-329.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 707 433 17
PDF Downloads 376 262 11