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Populist redemption and the unfinished democratization of Latin America

Carlos de la Torre (publicado en 2010-06-22 por franciscosantos )
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Publicado y/o Presentado en:
De la Torre, Carlos (1998). "Populist Redemption and the Unfinished Democratization of Latin America". Constellations Vol 5, N 1, March: 85-95.
The re-elections of Carlos Menem in Argentina and Alberto Fujimori in Peru, and the unstable and corrupt presidencies of Fernando Collor in Brazil and Abdalá Bucaram in Ecuador, have brought back the discussion on Latin American populism. Contrary to the dominant views of populism as a phase in the region´s history, understood either as a transitory stage towards modernization, or as a political phenomenon linked to import substitution industrialization, the re-emergence of populist leaders poses again fundamental political problems. Continuing the unresolved issues raised by debates on classical populism, the questions that need to be addressed from an empirical and normative standpoint are: What is the relationship between Latin American populism and democracy? What is the pattern of incorporation of the popular sectors into the national political community, and how do they differ from the Western experience? And what are the specificities of really existing Latin American democracies?