Populism and Democracy: An Analysis of the Outcomes of Populism


  • Claudio Balderacchi Universidad del Norte

Palabras clave:

Democracy, populism, outcomes, quality of inclusion, popular will


An influential strand of literature has consolidated the idea that populism can also benefit
democracy. However, even highly inclusionary experiences in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela suggest that the relationship with liberal institutions may not be populism’s main
democratic problem, and that the quality of populism-induced inclusion is inherently incompatible with populism’s ultimate goal of realizing popular will. Unlike more vulnerable, traditional critiques based on liberal priorities, this, in turn, questions the recently
accepted positive effects of populism, suggests that populism may, paradoxically, suffer
from some of the same limitations of liberal institutions, and corroborates, from a more
effective perspective, the idea that populism is inherently unlikely to favor democracy,
be it liberal or not. Through the analysis of these problems, this article contributes to a
critical reassessment of dominant understandings of the relationship between populism
and democracy.






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