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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines populism as a mode of political representation from a cross-regional, comparative perspective and considers some explanations as to why it appears to be thriving and, arguably, spreading in many developing countries. It begins by considering the political and economic conceptualizations of populism, particularly in Latin America and with respect to its logic in the cultural, or ideational, dimension of politics. It then discusses the structural and institutional conditions for populism, such as democracy, authoritarianism, and civil society. The article argues that populism is a natural means of appealing to and incorporating mass political constituencies characterized by weak or widely discredited representative institutions, where many citizens are marginalized or alienated from such institutions due to socioeconomic or political exclusion.

Keywords: populism, political representation, developing countries, Latin America, politics, democracy, authoritarianism, civil society

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