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    Centre for Antitrust and
    Regulatory Studies

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    Centre for Antitrust and
    Regulatory Studies

  • Centrum

    Centre for Antitrust and
    Regulatory Studies

We are happy to announce the new book by prof. Maciej Bernatt "Populism and Antitrust: The Illiberal Influence of Populist Government on the Competition Law" (Cambridge University Press 2022, cambridge.org).

Competition law promotes a consumer-friendly economy and it may bolster democracy, but for the law to work in practice, competition agencies - and the courts who oversee them - must enforce it effectively and impartially. Today, however, the rule of populist governments is challenging the foundations of competition law in many ways. This book analyses what these challenges are and how populist governments influence both national and regional (EU) competition law systems. Empirical findings from countries ruled by populist governments – in particular from Poland and Hungary – are used to propose a theoretical framework that will allow the illiberal influence of populism on competition law systems to be better measured and understood. The book explores the links between populism, competition law, democracy, and markets.


The book:

1) proposes a framework by means of which the influence of populists’ rule on a competition law system can by analyzed,

2) sheds new light on the relationship between the democracy, free markets, and competition law,

3) presents empirical findings from Central European countries to explain in practice what are the manifestations of populists’ rule on a competition law system,

4) examines the institutional organization of a competition law system and explains how the agency’s independence, operating capabilities, mandate and judicial review of its actions may be affected by the rule of populists’ governments,

5) analyses the challenges competition agencies face when enforcing competition law in populist times, among others in relation to the intensity of enforcement and the nature of enforcement against the SOEs,

6) explains the role to be played by the European Union and EU competition law system vis-à-vis EU Member States in populist times,

7) conceptualizes the scenarios which illustrate the influence of populists’ governments on a competition law system,

8) discusses how to enhance the resilience of competition law systems vis-à-vis such risks - it offers solutions on how competition law system should be built in order to mitigate the risks posed by the potential rule of populists’ governments,

9) offers solutions on how the societal and economic challenges which inform the successes of populists can be addressed by means of competition law, and by doing so it offers solutions that may reinforce democracies,

10) discusses the proper role of regional organizations such as the European Union with respect to the challenges posed by the rule of populists’ governments on national level.


Maciej Bernatt is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Warsaw. He holds Habilitation, PhD, and MA titles in law and a second MA title in international relations (political sciences). He is the Director of the Centre for Antitrust and Regulatory Studies, Faculty of Management, University of Warsaw (Poland). He held several visiting fellow appointments at academic institutions in Australia, Germany, and the USA. Maciej's research interests lie at the intersection of competition law and constitutional law, administrative law and EU law. His research builds on many years of professional experience gained at the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland, the Supreme Court of Poland, and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights as well as broader interests in politics, economics, and history.