Is there an ideological link between neopopulism and neoliberalism?

Vol. 21 No. 2 (2001)

Apr-Jun / 2001
Published April 1, 2001

How to Cite

Armony, Victor. 2001. “Is There an Ideological Link Between Neopopulism and Neoliberalism?”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 21 (2):246-62.

Is there an ideological link between neopopulism and neoliberalism?

Victor Armony
Department of Sociology of University of Quebec at Montreal, Montreal, Canada.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 21 No. 2 (2001), Apr-Jun / 2001, Pages 246-262


This paper deals with the resurgence of populism in Latin America, and particularly with the ideological underpinnings of this phenomenon. Quite unexpectedly, populism has reemerged in several countries, such as Argentina and Peru, in the wake of drastic and all-encompassing neoliberal reforms. This novel situation calls for a reinterpretation of the populist phenomenon. The author contends that neoliberalism and neopopulism have established a strong link at the ideological level. In order to provide empirical evidence for this hypothesis, a corpus of Carlos Menem’s presidential discourse has been analyzed. The author concludes by suggesting that neoliberalism itself tends to stir up populist tendencies in society.

JEL Classification: D72; Z13; E61.

Keywords: Populism neoliberalismo political economy