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Latin America's Neocaudillismo: Ex-Presidents and Newcomers Running for President … and Winning

  • Javier Corrales (a1)


Latin Americans have been voting for a surprisingly large number of ex-presidents and newcomers in presidential elections since the late 1980s. This article looks at both the demand and supply sides of this phenomenon by focusing on economic anxieties and party crises as the key independent variables. Sometimes the relationship between these variables is linear: economic anxieties combined with party crises lead to rising ex-presidents and newcomers. At other times the relationship is symbiotic: the rise of ex-presidents leads to party crises, economic and political anxieties, and thus the rise of newcomers. This article concludes that the abundance of ex-presidents and newcomers in elections—essentially, the new face of Latin America's caudillismo—does not bode well for democracy because it accelerates de-institutionalization and polarizes the electorate.



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