• Brinks Daniel M. (2019). Understanding Institutional Weakness: Power and Design in Latin American Institutions (Elements in Politics and Society in Latin America). Cambridge. Cambridge University Press
• Klein, Harvey, Christine Wade and Howard Wiarda (editors). (2017). Latin American Politics and Development. NY. West View Press.
• Pappas, Takis. (2019) Populism and Liberal Democracy: A Comparative and Theoretical Analysis. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
• Stockemer, Daniel (2019). Populism Around the World, Cham. Springer.
Populism has become a popular category in Latin American Politics. During the last two decades many coun-tries in the Region has experience a transition from Representative democracies towards populism. The representative regime has been substituted by different types of Radical Direct Democracies, that has substituted the mechanisms of political representation for permanent mass mobilization and a direct relationship between the leader and the masses. Strong and charismatic leaders resembling the old Caudillos has appear through the region to monopolize political power and control economic resources. This has implied a deep transfor-mation in social equilibrium and distributional criteria which has change the nature of the political dynamics and presents important challenges to governance and political stability.
In this course we want to explore the origins of contemporary populism in Latin America, its characteristics, complexities, and implications for the region. It is worth noting that it has develop as a leftist, authoritarian alternative to Representative Democracy. It is crucial to Understand its nature and it contends in order com-prehend the reasons of its rooting and acceptance by important sectors of the population.
The seminar will be divided in the parts. During the first half we will explore categories and concepts as well as the political situation in the region. That is, recent trends, specific political situations, and news. We will try to build a general vision about Latin American Politics and its “populist moment”. During the second half we will explore from a comparative perspective the situation of specific countries. We will characterize their recent political evolution, trends, and challenges.
We will review both the associated literature and current affairs in order to develop a conceptual understanding of the situation in the selected countries. In that regard we will assume the role of the analyst and prepare a Country Report to be presented to the class. The lecturer will present the issues and clarify the analytical categories while the participants are expected to be ready to advance an informed discussion of the issues.