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


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Political Movements in Latin America

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

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

Some definitions label political populism as, "excessive centralization ***** decision-making, i.e., rule ***** decree, with decreasing depoliticization" (Eder, 2003). Many academics, such as Eder (2003) have sh***** that globalization (and neoliberalism) has not put an end to populism, but rather has tr*****sformed it, ***** 'neopopulism', which leaves l*****tle room for 'true' democracy ***** 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 *****, as ***** *****se countries, neoliberal ***** ***** existed side-by-side with populist strategies (Eder, *****).

Other academics, for example, Weyland (2001) have defined populism as, "populism is best defined ***** a political strategy through which a personal*****tic 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 ***** which to define populism, arguing that such a complex, multi-faceted ***** was necessary.

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

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

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

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