Brazil is a useful case-study in the use, and limits, of the term ‘populism’, and the different ways in which the ‘p’ word is said to influence or threaten liberal democratic constitutionalism. Over a decade of what was often termed left-wing populist governance, under Presidents Lula and Dilma, is viewed in some quarters as having produced not only a revenge of the élites in the “abusive impeachment” of Dilma Rousseff, but also a wider right-wing populism whose Trump-like figurehead, Jair Bolsonaro. Populism as a term does have some utility in the attempt to capture the growing strength of a particular technology of political messaging and governance in Brazil and to compare these developments with so-called populist constitutionalism elsewhere. However, the Brazilian context also highlights the dangers associated with the populism tag, and whether the term ‘populist constitutionalism’ can work as anything more than a broad rubric.
Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 6-9, 2021. It will be held in a completely novel way as a fully online Conference: ICON•S Mundo.
The Call for Papers for ICON•S Mundo is available here. Submissions for papers and panels must be made by May 1, 2021.
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