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A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central EuropeVolume II: Negotiating Modernity in the 'Short Twentieth Century' and Beyond, Part I: 1918-1968$
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Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopeček, Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, Maria Falina, Mónika Baár, and Maciej Janowski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737155.001.0001

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The “Third Way”

The “Third Way”

Chapter:
(p.142) 4 The “Third Way”
Source:
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe
Author(s):

Balázs Trencsényi

Michal Kopeček

Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič

Maria Falina

Mónika Baár

Maciej Janowski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198737155.003.0004

The interwar years saw the flourishing of agrarian populist ideology all over East Central Europe. However, rather than a homogeneous movement, there were several types of agrarianism, responding to local exigencies and often marked by considerable internal cleavages. The main common denominator was the doctrine of a “third way,” which usually meant a critique of both liberal Western capitalism and socialist collectivism. While the private ownership of land was unquestioned, agrarian theoreticians argued that this did not fit the logic of capitalistic production. There was no consensus, however, whether in the future these countries would eventually become industrialized or whether the international division of labor would keep them forever agrarian. Agrarian populism had many intersections with ethno-populism and the stress on the peasantry as the only “uncontaminated” social class could also have nationalistic connotations. Nevertheless, most peasant parties rejected the radical nationalism characterizing neo-conservative and extreme-rightist political camps.

Keywords:   third way, collectivism, agrarian populism, peasantism, peasant state, nationalism, ethno-populism

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