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 populism ***** guerrilla movements are very similar phenomena, divided only by the level of their extremism.

***** ***** many definitions of 'populism', as seemingly each academic uses his or her own definition ***** this term, expecting all readers to automatic*****y 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 (*****) 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 phases ***** pol*****ical ideologies, movements, parties, governments, and social coalitions": some of *****se will be discussed below.

***** definitions label political ***** as, "excessive centralization of decision-making, i.e., rule by decree, with decreasing depoliticization" (Eder, 2003). Many academics, such as Eder (2003) ***** shown that globalization (***** neoliberalism) h***** not put an end to populism, but rather has tr*****sf*****med it, in***** 'neopopulism', which leaves l*****tle room for 'true' democracy to develop in those countries 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 policies ***** existed side-by-side with populist strategies (Eder, 2003).

Other *****, for example, Weyland (2001) have defined populism as, "populism is best defined ***** a political 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 *****ably Canovan (1999) who offered her own seven sub-categories with ***** to define populism, arguing that such a complex, multi-f*****ceted definition was necessary.

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

Other academics argue that populism is a common character*****tic of Latin Ameri***** politics, which has lasted ***** ***** inception in the ***** half of the twentieth century (Coslovsky, 2002). It is argued that populism is both a political ***** an economic phenomena, and that, as *****, it has had an important role in the region's dual transitions (*****, 2002). Economic populism can be seen as an attempt to deal with income inequality through ***** use of overly exp*****sive macroeconomic ***** i.e., deficit financing (Coslovsky, 2002).

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


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