Populist radical-right governments in Central-Eastern Europe and education policy-making: a comparison of Hungary and Poland

The new article by Eszter Neumann and Pawel Rudnicki is now published in Journal of Contemporary European Studies (IF 1.208, , DOI: 10.1080/14782804.2023.2211935) and is available at HERE.

In the European political landscape characterized by the strengthening influence of Eurosceptic, radical-right, and populist parties, Hungary and Poland represent insightful cases for understanding how the populist radical right uses its power in government and acts in full capacity to design education policies. From a systematic comparison of the education policy trajectories taken by Hungarian and Polish populist radical-right governments, we identified three characteristic patterns of populist radical-right education policy-making in the two countries: commitment to a conservative-nationalist agenda through comprehensive, systemic interventions, the implementation of Christian identitarianism through conceptualising public education as Christian upbringing, and finally, the gradual extremisation of the education agenda combined with the growing influence of transnational conservative knowledge transfer centred on the ‘gender wars’. We find that the boundary between far-right nativist and nationalist positions and Christian-conservative standpoints has faded away, and the two governments, which identify as Christian conservative, have increasingly mainstreamed far-right agendas.