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The Legal Architecture of Populism


This chapter examines populism in Latin America as a method of exercising power, rather than a specific set of substantive provisions. It explores the commonalities between left-populism and right-populism as illustrated by two ideologically opposing figures, Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Álvaro Uribe in Colombia. Despite their contrasting social and economic policies, there were more similarities than differences in the legal architecture they deployed. In both cases, the preferred tools included the resort to referenda to circumvent and control the legislature, delegitimation of the opposition, and activation of mechanisms allowing the executive to legislate by decree. Their methods illustrate how populist leaders use tools to produce arguments of legitimacy for their selection of winners and losers in society.



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hal-03239571 , version 1 (27-05-2021)



Helena Alviar García. The Legal Architecture of Populism: Exploring Antagonists in Venezuela and Colombia. Gerald Neuman. Human Rights in a Time of Populism, Cambridge University Press, pp.81 - 99, 2020, 9781108485494. ⟨hal-03239571⟩
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