Best in covid: Populists in the time of pandemic

Lenka Buštíková, Pavol Baboš

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


How do populists govern in crisis? We address this question by analyzing the actions of technocratic populists in power during the first wave of the novel coronavirus crisis in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We identify three features of the populist pandemic response. First, populists bypassed established, institutionalized channels of crisis response. Second, they engaged in erratic yet responsive policy making. These two features are ubiquitous to populism. The third feature, specific to technocratic populism, is the politicization of expertise in order to gain legitimacy. Technocratic populists in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia weaponized medical expertise for political purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-508
Number of pages13
JournalPolitics and Governance
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • ANO
  • Covid-19
  • Czech Republic
  • Health expertise
  • Nationalism
  • OL’aNO
  • Pandemic
  • Populism
  • Slovakia
  • Technocratic populism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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