Essay - Political Movements in Latin America This Paper is Divided into...


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Political Movements in Latin America

***** paper is divided into two parts: the first part provides and defends a definition of popul*****m, addressing its ideology, social base, charisma, clientelism, and the extent of institutionalization; the second part argues that populism and guerrilla movements are very similar phenomena, divided only by the level of their extremism.

There are many definitions of 'populism', as seemingly each academic uses his or her own definition of this term, expecting all readers to automatically agree with this definition. As Roberts (1995) says, "few social science concepts can match populism when it comes to nebulous and inconsistent usage." ***** Roberts (1995) says, "These multiple dimensions have allowed the populist concept to be applied to a wide range ***** loosely connected empirical phenomena, ranging from economic policies and development phases ***** political ideologies, movements, parties, governments, and social coalitions": some of these will ***** discussed below.

Some definitions label political ***** as, "excessive centralization ***** decision-making, i.e., rule by decree, with decreasing depoliticization" (Eder, 2003). Many academics, such as Eder (*****) ***** shown that globalization (and neoliberalism) h***** not put an end to populism, but rather has transformed it, into 'neopopulism', which leaves little room for 'true' democracy to develop in those countr*****s that have followed these paths. As we shall see, Venezuela and Peru are two good examples of the 'neopopulist' effects of globalization, as ***** ***** countries, neoliberal policies ***** existed side-*****-side with populist strategies (Eder, 2003).

Other *****, for example, Weyland (2001) have defined populism as, "populism is best ***** as a politic*****l strategy through which a personalistic leader seeks or exercises power based on direct, unmediated, uninstitutionalized support ***** large numbers of mostly unorganized followers." This 'single-defining variable' definition is hotly contested by academics, most *****ably Canovan (1999) who offered her own seven sub-categories ***** ***** ***** define populism, arguing that such a complex, multi-f*****ceted definition was necessary.

********** academics argue that populists are defined ***** their message, and that ***** message ***** only be heard in ***** facing crises, such that ***** really needs to ***** ***** within the context of exclusion (Buxton, 2000). Others (*****, 1995) ***** that "populism is a recurring phenomenon, rather than a period-specific historical anomaly."

Other academics argue that ***** is a common characteristic of Latin American politics, which ***** lasted from ***** inception in the ***** half ***** the twentieth century (Coslovsky, 2002). It is argued that populism is both a political ***** an economic *****, and that, as *****, it has had an import*****t role ***** the region's dual transitions (Coslovsky, 2002). Economic populism can be seen as an attempt to deal with income inequality through the use of overly exp*****sive macroeconomic ***** i.e., deficit financing (*****, 2002).

***** ***** view, populism is best understood as a politic*****l *****, with politicians being classed as popul*****t if ********** fulfil three conditions: I) their personal style is paternal*****tic, personal and charismatic; ii) they are able to mobilize, from the top down, a heterogeneous coalition that includes urban

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