The Far Right in Latin America

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program (LACS) Seminar Series.

Although the emergence of the far right is anything but a new phenomenon and has reached a global dimension, until recent times the Latin American region has not experienced a massive presence of far right parties or leaders. Things started to change in the last few years, in particular with the presidential elections of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil in 2018 and Nayib Bukele in El Salvador in 2019. In addition, it seems that the far right has been gaining ground in other countries, such as Argentina (“Libertad Avanza”), Chile (“Partido Republicano”), Peru (“Renovación Popular”) and Uruguay (“Cabildo Abierto”). Despite this rapid appearance of the far right across the region, up to now there is almost no comparative research about this phenomenon. This means that we have very limited knowledge about the similarities and differences between the existing far right forces in Latin America. To address this research gap, in this presentation I we present the preliminary findings of a research project that looks at the ideas advanced by different far right forces across Latin America and examine its proximity with the frames employed by the far right in Europe and beyond.

Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser is professor at the Institute of Political Science at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and an associate researcher at the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES) and Director of the Laboratory for the Study of the Far Right (ultra-lab). His main area of research is comparative politics and he has a special interest in the ambivalent relationship between populism and democracy. Together with Cas Mudde (University of Georgia), he has published “Populism: A Very Short Introduction” (Oxford University Press, 2017), which has been translated into more than fifteen languages.

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