Populist Presidents and Civil Society on Latin American Democracies

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The article considers the issue of populism in Latin American democracies and their evolution. The authors identify the factors leading to the electoral success of populist presidents in Latin American democracies. 13 cases were selected for research: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela. The authors formulated two hypotheses, according to which the probability of electoral success for populist presidents increases in case of low political participation rates, undeveloped civil society; in case of increasing levels of economic development, inequality and inflation. The dataset includes 377 country/year observations on 65 presidents from 1991 to 2019. The hypotheses were tested by logistic regression analysis. The independent variables for the electoral success of populist presidents were determined as the following: the level of civic participation, the level of the civil society development, political participation, economic inequality, and economic development. The quantitative analysis identified two variables with the most significant impact on the dependent variable, i.e., the civil society index and the level of GDP per capita. The article concludes that in the third-wave Latin American democracies high levels of civil participation and sustainable civil society can hinder the rise of populist leaders.

About the authors

Angelina A. Malashenkova

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Email: angelina9909@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5457-5588

graduate student of the School of Governance and Politics

Moscow, Russian Federation

Oxana G. Kharitonova

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.
Email: o.haritonova@inno.mgimo.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1908-0613

PhD in Political Science, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics

Moscow, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Malashenkova A.A., Kharitonova O.G.

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