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 au*****matically agree with this definition. As Roberts (1995) says, "few social science concepts can match populism when it comes to nebulous and inconsistent usage." As Roberts (1995) says, "These multiple dimensions have allowed the populist concept to be applied to a wide range of loosely connected empirical phenomena, ranging from economic policies ***** development ph*****es ***** pol*****ical ideologies, movements, parties, governments, and social coalitions": some of *****se will ***** discussed below.

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

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

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

Other academics argue that populism is a common character*****tic of ***** American politics, which ***** lasted ***** ***** inception in the ***** half ***** the twentieth century (Coslovsky, 2002). It is argued ***** populism is both a political and an economic *****, and that, as such, it has had an important 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 ***** i.e., deficit financing (Coslovsky, 2002).

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


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