“Anti-Neoliberal Populisms in Comparative Perspective. A Latinamericanization of Southern Europe?”

di Enrico Padoan, 2020 (Routledge)

In this book, Enrico Padoan proposes an original middle-range theory to explain the emergence and the internal organisation of anti-neoliberal populist parties in Latin America and Southern Europe, and the relationships between these parties and the organised working class. Padoan begins by tracing the diverging evolution of the electoral Lefts in Latin America and Southern Europe in the aftermath of economic crises, and during the implementation of austerity measures within many of these nations. A causal typology for interpreting the possible outcomes of the realignments within the electoral Lefts is proposed. Hereafter, the volume features five empirical chapters, four of which focus on the rise of anti-neoliberal populist parties in Bolivia, Argentina, Spain and Italy, while a fifth offers an analysis on four ‘shadow cases’ in Venezuela, Uruguay, Portugal and Greece. Scholars of Latin America and Comparative Politics will find Anti-Neoliberal Populisms in Comparative Perspective a highly valuable resource, offering a distinctive perspective on the impact of different populisms on party systems and on the challenges that such populisms posed to syndicalism and to traditional left-of-centre parties.

Parole chiave: Populism; Left-Wing Populism; Movimento 5 Stelle; Southern European politics; Latin American politics; Social Movements; Party Organization; Labour politics

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“A work of impressive theoretical nuance and empirical breadth. Padoan enriches our understanding of anti-neoliberal populist mobilization and successfully bridges the unwarranted analytical divide between Latin American and European scholars of populism.” Paris AslanidisYale University
“We very often hear about the latinamericanization of Southern European politics. This is usually argued in relation to the analysis of populist phenomena in the two continents and often betrays a neocolonial disdain for both (egalitarian) populism and Latin America. Padoan’s comprehensive study is arguably the first one that offers a rigorous and thoroughly illuminating analysis of the links between Latin American and European political reactions to neoliberalism beyond any such Eurocentric bias.” Yannis StavrakakisAristotle University of Thessaloniki
“Financial crises, austerity measures, and neoliberal reforms have spawned social protest and populist reactions in both Southern Europe and Latin America, but the parallels between the two regions have rarely been studied systematically. Enrico Padoan breaks new ground in this comparative, cross-regional analysis of anti-neoliberal populisms in the early 21 st  century. Padoan
skillfully weaves together the roles of political parties, labor unions, social movements, and populist leaders to explain how different types of left alternatives emerged to contest neoliberalism and realign national political orders following severe financial crises. This book is sure to leave its mark on scholarly debates over the transformation of political representation in contemporary Southern Europe and Latin America.” Kenneth M. Roberts, Professor of Government, Cornell University


Enrico Padoan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Social and Political Studies of the Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy. He had his PhD in Comparative Politics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile. His research interests focus on populism, labor politics and social movements.