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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Since the 1930s and 1940s until the present, populist leaders have dominated Latin America’s political landscapes. This chapter explains the commonalities and differences between the different subtypes of Latin American populism—classical, neoliberal, and radical. It examines why these different manifestations of populism emerged, and their democratizing and inclusionary promises while seeking power. Then it analyzes their impact on democracy after gaining office. Whereas populists seeking power promise to include the excluded, once in power populists attacked the institutions of liberal democracy, grabbed power, aimed to control social movements and civil society, and clashed with the privately owned media.

Keywords: Latin America, classical populism, neoliberal populism, radical populism, democracy, authoritarianism

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