In the first half of the twentieth century, classic populist leaders like the Peróns in Argentina and Vargas in Brazil sought to create direct, personal ties between themselves and their followers. At the same time, they incorporated large numbers of previously excluded people into the body politic. The resurgence of democracy in Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s brought with it two new waves of populism: first, the neopopulism of leaders like Salinas in Mexico and Fujimori in Peru, who promoted neoliberal solutions to the economic problems of the 1990s; and second, the radical populism of leaders like Chávez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia, who repudiated neoliberal policies in favor of some form of socialism in what has come to be called “the pink tide.”
Many have studied populist movements, for they offer fascinating insights into Latin American history and politics. But until now there have been no book-length studies of the relationship between gender and populism throughout the region. The essays in Gender and Populism in Latin America analyze the role of masculinity and femininity in the political careers of figures ranging from Evita Perón to Hugo Chávez, considering the relationships among populism, democracy, authoritarianism, and feminism in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela.
In addition to the editor, the contributors are Michael Conniff, Gioconda Espina, Sujatha Fernandes, Victoria González-Rivera, Karin Grammático, Jocelyn Olcott, Cathy A. Rakowski, Stéphanie Rousseau, Ximena Sosa-Buchholz, and Joel Wolfe. The Foreword is by Kurt Weyland.