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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Although populism and social movements both refer to the political mobilization of mass constituencies against established elites, scholarship on the two phenomena has long followed separate paths. Considerable analytical leverage could be gained through a more systematic assessment of their similarities and differences, as well as the relationships between them. Such an assessment should start by differentiating plebiscitary from participatory patterns of socio-political mobilization and examining the political opportunity structures in which they occur. The recent Latin American experience sheds light on the interaction between these different modes of popular subjectivity, suggesting that mass social protest often sets the stage for the emergence of populist outsiders, but that populist authority is typically in tension with autonomous forms of social mobilization at the grass-roots.

Keywords: populism, social movements, popular subjectivity, political parties, plebiscitary linkages, participatory linkages

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