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The Department of Government

Weyland Featured in NYT About Populism-Authoritarianism Nexus

Mon, April 3, 2017
Weyland Featured in NYT About Populism-Authoritarianism Nexus
Hugo Chávez

The New York Times referenced Kurt Weyland’s 2013 Journal of Democracy article at length in an April 1, 2017 article addressing Venezuela’s drift to authoritarianism. Weyland’s article, “The Threat from the Populist Left,” discusses how, as The New York Times quotes, “Populism will always stand in tension with democracy.” At the time of publication, Weyland was featured on the Journal of Democracy podcast and discussed the article:

http://www.journalofdemocracy.org/sites/default/files/media/JODPodcast-Kurt-Weyland.mp3

Weyland is currently organizing a conference at The University of Texas at Austin to be held in Fall 2017 about lessons to be drawn from Latin American and European experiences with populism and the Trump presidency.

Here is a link to The New York Times article: “How Does Populism Turn Authoritarian? Venezuela Is a Case in Point”

Here is the abstract to Weyland’s article:

Democracy has been on the defensive in contemporary Latin America; under the cover of progressive rhetoric, competitive authoritarianism has emerged. Leftist leaders like Hugo Chávez relied on populism to establish their political hegemony, erode institutional checks and balances, marginalize the opposition through discriminatory legalism, and severely skew political competition. Left-wing populism has done more damage to democracy than the rightist, neoliberal populism of the 1990s. Self-styled socialist leaders command more solid, durable support, use growing economic interventionism to boost their power, invoke nationalism as a shield against foreign democracy promotion, and act as a coordinated group in suffocating democracy.

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