Populism in Latin America: a double interview

POP interviewed two scholars – Saskia Ruth and Bruno Castanho Silva – in order to understand the causes and consequences of populism, especially in Latin America. We discussed also about negative cases (why populism does not always show up when it is supposed to?), use of violence, populist paradoxes, and direct democratic tools.

From this dialogue emerged a (quite long and dense) interview full of relevant examples, concepts and arguments. It therefore constitutes a clear and comprehensive point of access to a broad variety of topics about populism in Latin America.

Enjoy the  interview.

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Interview #16 with Levi Littvay: Conspiracies, Fake News and Populism

In this interview POP investigates the connection between populism and conspiracy theories. It was written during the first weeks of the conflict in Budapest between academic freedom, liberalism, and democracy on the one hand, and repression, authoritarianism, and (veiled ?) Antisemitism on the other hand. The Central European University had to start a fight for its own survival as well as for the principle of academic freedom, while the European institutions and the other member countries mainly observed, powerless. This interview is about populism and conspiracy theories, and it can be read also in the light of the shameful events that are affecting the Central European University, where Levente Littvay is Associate Professor of Political Science.

Maybe, after having read the interview it will be clearer how a populist leader can motivate his decision to close down an independent University.

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Interview #15 – Going Negative: Causes and Consequences of Attack Politics

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Alessandro Nai

In this interview POP discusses with Alessandro Nai about the causes and consequences of negative campaigning as well as the links with populism and attack politics.

Alessandro Nai is Visiting Fellow at the University of Sydney, and Assistant Professor of Political Communication and Journalism at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR, University of Amsterdam) from August 2017 onwards. His personal research agenda is on electoral behavior, political psychology, direct democracy, and campaigning effects. His work appeared in peer-review journals such as Political Psychology, European Journal of Political Research, Electoral Studies and the Journal of Political Marketing. He recently published New Perspectives on Negative Campaigning: Why Attack Politics Matters (with Annemarie S. Walter, ECPR Press, 2015) and Election Watchdogs: Transparency, Accountability and Integrity (with Pippa Norris, Oxford University Press, 2017).

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Interview #14 – The Strange Case of Dr. Populist and Mr. Corruption

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Lisa Zanotti

Lisa Zanotti is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at University Diego Portales in Chile and a Ph.D. researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She is currently working on her doctoral thesis, a project that aims at studying the factors influencing the emergence of the populist/anti-populist cleavage in Italy in comparative perspective.

In this interview POP discussed with her about the role of corruption in triggering populism both in Latin America and Europe, both theoretically and empirically, with a focus on Italy, France, the Netherlands, Chile and Brasil.


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Barnum Circus or European Parliament?Between Freedom of Speech and Stigma

The European Parliament is a strange place, we all know it. Politicians who could not find a suitable chair at the national level, Europhobic fellows, but also racist, crusaders and misogynists.  On March 2, Polish conservative politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke insisted that “women must earn less because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent. They must earn less. That is all.” Continue reading

Donald “the symptom” Trump: kakistocracy & coprolalia

One can fight the corrupt elites in the name of the people. One can oppose the caste, the establishment, the banksters. One can claim to be pure, innocent, clean, bio, and sell political enlightenment at the corner of the street. Burrito “Frederick the Great“, everybody. One can draw clear lines, divide us and them, black and white, build a wall, perch on top and indicate the mass of pariahs. One can hire a powerful computer and delegate decisions to its silicon democracy. One can open the book of answers and distribute plenty of certainties. One can set free the tiger of subconscious, and speak clear like the man in the street. Salt of the earth, hallelujah! Continue reading

Interview #13 to Benjamin Moffitt – Populism “Asian” Style

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Street Art From Japan

There’s people in this country who are sick and tired. Tired of hearing all the rhetoric, tired of Washington failing us while they pat their own backs. Finally someone comes along who says what he feels. That’s why people like him: because say what you want, at least he doesn’t sound like another politician. [1]


In this interview, Benjamin Moffitt describes his approach to populism as a political style, and offers a crucial overview about differences and similarities between Asian and European populism. Benjamin Moffitt is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, and an Associate of the Sydney Democracy Network. He is the author of ‘The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style, and Representation’ (Stanford University Press, 2016).

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