A “Left Turn” in Latin America? Populism, Socialism, and Democratic Institutions

Issue Date October 2006
Volume 17
Issue 4
Page Numbers 20-34
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Progressive politics in Latin America inevitably draws from the legacies of socialism and populism, but these categories are not very useful today. We need to come to terms with the multiple types of left that are currently in office in Latin America, and to examine their differences in terms of stark contrasts among their respective countries' party systems as well as the uneven performance of their democratic institutions. The ultimate challenge for the left in Latin America is to reconcile the substantive goals of inclusion and equality with the equally substantive goals of robust procedures and institutions.