Megatrend Global Populism? From South America to the Occupy Movement, Alejandro Pelfini

September 20, 2014 Research Papers & Analysis


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the continuities or the “elective affinities” between the recent populist wave (or populist come back) in South America and the current Occupy Movement in order to trace the contours of an original populism at a global scale. The article starts with a brief definition of populism, continues with a brief evaluation of the recent return of populism in South America finishing with the analysis of the main connections with the current Occupy Movement: the experience of a crisis; the claims for more democracy and the exploration of a postneoliberal political economy. In societies with obscene levels of inequality such as what exists in many South American countries, populism does not seem to be a heresy or a pathology, but a rational alternative to solve problems rooted in a failed nation building processes. Increasing indignation as a generalize perception of non-experienced levels of inequality in the concentration of resources and power at the global level is at the basis of one can call a populist moment. It has to be discussed, if this populist moment also contains an original populist movement with global contours inside.

Chapter in Alexander Lenger & Florian Schumacher (Eds) Understanding the Dynamics of Global Inequality, Springer, 2015, pp. 199-211,