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From Chavismo to a democratic left in Venezuela

Antonio Lecuna

No 9, Past Working Papers from Universidad del Desarrollo, School of Business and Economics

Abstract: Venezuela’s political institutions have mutated from a subsidised coalition that almost privatised the oil industry to a populist nationalism that is polarising society to the brink of civil war. In this paper, I examine chavismo in Venezuela as a new and unusual revelatory phenomenon and the most extreme case of leftwing populism in Latin America. The within-case analysis addresses the extreme polarisation of the political landscape and the consolidation of the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (United Socialist Political Party of Venezuela, or PSUV) as a united leftwing redistributive party. The conclusions suggest that the PSUV would need to evolve into an institutionalised phenomenon –beyond the nominal leader– with a clear division of power and strong internal debate, and the diverse opposition would need to unite under one political organisation with a defined ideology that is more relevant than the single bonding effect of removing Chávez.

Keywords: Institutions; economic development; territorial development; Venezuela; public policy. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L38 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 15 pages
Date: 2014-12, Revised 2014-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm
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Published in Dissent, 60(3), 2013, pages 26-28 [DOI: 10.1353/dss.2013.0067].

Downloads: (external link) First version, 2007 (application/pdf)

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