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Populism is a dynamic phenomenon. Yet scholars studying populism in post-communist Europe have often treated their topic as static. For example, in the 1990s researchers concentrated on the idea of a politically scary marriage of populism with nationalism, without allowing for variation or complexity among individual cases. This text contends that populism in East Central Europe (ECE) should be treated as a dynamic phenomenon in which radical ideological components are becoming overshadowed by pure anti-establishment appeal. It explores ECE populism through Western-developed populism frameworks. Finally, it argues that in this context populism's strong anti-establishment posture is based on blaming the post-communist mainstream for its political and moral misconduct, rather than on the challenges inherent in the democratic transition.