A “Left Turn” in Latin America? Populism, Socialism, and Democratic Institutions

Issue Date October 2006
Volume 17
Issue 4
Page Numbers 20-34
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Progressive politics in Latin America inevitably draws from the legacies of socialism and populism, but these categories are not very useful today. We need to come to terms with the multiple types of left that are currently in office in Latin America, and to examine their differences in terms of stark contrasts among their respective countries’ party systems as well as the uneven performance of their democratic institutions. The ultimate challenge for the left in Latin America is to reconcile the substantive goals of inclusion and equality with the equally substantive goals of robust procedures and institutions.

About the Author

Hector E. Schamis teaches in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. He has written on democratization and market reform in Latin America and ex-communist countries. His current research is on the construction of democratic citizenship in old and new democracies.

View all work by Hector E. Schamis