Backsliding by Surprise: The Rise of Chavismo

35 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2021

See all articles by Dorothy Kronick

Dorothy Kronick

University of Pennsylvania

Barry Plunkett

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pedro Rodríguez

Vanderbilt University

Date Written: March 22, 2021

Abstract

How do aspiring autocrats get elected? Prominent explanations point to distributive conflict. We propose instead that skillful rhetoricians initially disguise democratic deconsolidation as “deepening democracy,” which has crosscutting appeal. We investigate the election of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, an emblematic aspiring autocrat. Using original data, we find that historical voting patterns and political rhetoric are consistent with our proposal: Chávez came to power with the cross-class support of voters from across the traditional political spectrum, and his campaign emphasized rather than obscured his plan to remake political institutions.

Keywords: Backsliding, deconsolidation, democracy, Venezuela, Chávez

Suggested Citation

Kronick, Dorothy and Plunkett, Barry and Rodríguez, Pedro, Backsliding by Surprise: The Rise of Chavismo (March 22, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3810203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3810203

Dorothy Kronick (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Barry Plunkett

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pedro Rodríguez

Vanderbilt University ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
39
Abstract Views
224
PlumX Metrics