This article analyzes the nature of populism in the Czech Republic, which was until recently described as centrist and moderate. It uses an approach that views populism as associated with empty policy space: that is, with (previously) secondary issues on which the established parties have unclear positions. The empirical analyses presented in this article show that in the Czech Republic, where political conflict has traditionally been based on disputes over economic distribution, the migration crisis that started in 2014 increased the salience of ethnicity and gave rise to an ethnopopulist reaction that led to a transformation of the party system and the dimensionality of political conflict in the country. Ethnicity thus became linked with populism and, as a result, transformed the dimensionality of political conflict by adding another (ethnic) layer to the political conflict in the country. This article contributes to the discussion of populism in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by describing the transformation of the nature of populism based on the dimensionality of political conflict.

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