Crisis States Working Paper 76

Title :The Political Economy of Anti-Politics and Social Polarisation in Venezuela, 1998-2004
Author(s) : Jonathan DiJohn
Date : December 2005

Abstract: This paper examines the decline of party politics in Latin America during the past two decades and the corresponding rise in what can be termed "anti-politics".  It looks at populist leaders who appeal directly to the people and challenge existing political classes and parties. The author considers in particular the case of Venezuela, since the landslide victory of Hugo Chavez Frias in the 1998 presidential elections.

 The paper concludes that the return of party politics in Venezuela seems remote at present. Without an increase in the size and productivity of the formal economy, the author believes it is unlikely that the material base of meaningful party politics will re-emerge in the foreseeable future.