Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
13 June 2022


AHCD Research Fellow Yanina Welp's recent book explores contradictions in populist leadership.

The Will of the People: Populism and Citizen Participation in Latin America is a book that Yanina Welp,  Research Fellow at the Graduate Institute's Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, has just published with De Gruyter. In it we find an examination of populist leaders who typically claim to speak “in the name of the people”, while rarely allowing the people to express their opinion independently through institutions of citizen participation. The argument is rooted in theoretical discussions and empirical analyses of trends and specific cases.

The volume deals with the following questions: Why is populism so prolific in the Latin American region? How and where do populist leaders arrive to power? Is there a connection between populism and fascism as claimed by negative views of Argentinian Peronism? Are populist leaders more keen on introducing mechanisms of direct citizen participation? Are the erosions of the political party system an explanation of the emergence of populism, as seems to be the case with Fujimorism in Peru? To what extent have the governments of Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa given voice to the people through the so-called participatory democracy?

Full citation of the book:
Welp, Yanina. The Will of the People: Populism and Citizen Participation in Latin America,. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2022.

Banner picture by Enzo Giusti/