Latin American populism: some conceptual and normative lessons

Rovira Kaltwasser, Cristóbal (2014) Latin American populism: some conceptual and normative lessons. Constellations, 21 (4). pp. 494-504. ISSN 1351-0487

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (323kB)


Populism seems to be a pervasive phenomenon in the contemporary world. Many intellectuals are asking themselves whether the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements in the U.S. or the indignados in Spain are examples of populist uprisings. Answering this question is not straightforward, since there is an ongoing debate about how to define populism and study its impact on democracy. This article sheds light on this discussion by undertaking a critical revision of the Latin American debate on populism. Two key arguments are developed. First, populism should be conceived of as a set of ideas characterized by a moral understanding of the world, according to which the people form a homogenous and virtuous community, and the elite a pathological entity. Second, populism is not necessarily an authoritarian force, but rather an ideology that takes for granted the existence of a unified popular will, and that is at odds with deliberative and liberal conceptions of democracy.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General) > JA0071 Theory. Relation to other subjects
J Political Science > JL Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.) > JL1850 South America
Depositing User: Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 14:33
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 22:21

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update