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Nationalist populism in Latin America: going against the tide?

  • Date(s)
    16 June 2017
  • Time
    08:30 - 10:00
  • Location
    Common Ground Room, Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
Nationalist populism in Latin America: going against the tide?


While populist leaders or movements have gained momentum in countries such as the US, Britain, Finland, Spain, Hungary, Turkey and others, Latin America has been, so far, largely immune from this trend. This is especially puzzling as many of the causes that are often cited for the rise of populism — inequality, cultural insecurity, the effects of globalization — are very much present in the region. So the question is why?

Experts will discuss whether Latin America's long history with populism, which it has only recently struggled to get over, and whose effects are still in public memory made it more resilient to nationalist populist messages. Or have the differing effects of globalisation, where inequality in Latin America is lower than it used to be, made it difficult for populist messages to resonate with the public? More generally, what messages does the analysis convey for governments and political parties in Europe? What lessons can moderate political forces learn from Latin America when it comes to approaching internationalism, where they have mostly been on their back heels, differently?

Key questions for discussion:

  • Can we say, post-France, post-Holland, that the nationalist populist wave has been halted in Europe?
  • Where are we on the economic-cultural debate regarding its causes?
  • Why has Latin America thus far avoided the nationalist populist outbreak? Has its previous experience with nationalism inoculated it?
  • Is there a wave to come? Or is Latin America proof that the economic argument (inequality, social mobility, etc) is somehow inaccurate?






    • Robert Funk, professor of political science and director, Center for the Study of Public Opinion, University of Chile
    • Francisco Panizza, professor of Latin American and comparative politics, LSE
    • Maria Luisa Puig, senior analyst, Latin America, Eurasia Group
    • Gabriel Leon, lecturer in political economy, King's College London




    This event is co-hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies

    Photo credit: marchello74/Shutterstock

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