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V-Dem Seminar with Saskia Ruth

Research profile seminar

At the V-Dem Seminar Saskia Ruth will present the paper "Populism and Direct Democracy in Latin America".


This article investigates the relationship between populism in power and the expansion of mechanisms of direct democracy (MDDs) in Latin America. More specifically, we hypothesize that the introduction of new or additional MDDs is more likely under populist than non-populist presidents due to core elements of the populist appeal. Moreover, we hypothesize that the expansion of MDDs is more likely if the political context in which presidents are embedded provides strategic incentives to promote MDDs, irrespective of their appeal. We test these hypotheses by means of logistic and Poisson regression analyses using a newly compiled data set covering information on the presence and reform of MDDs in 18 Latin American countries from 1978 to 2014. Our results indicate that expansions of MDDs are more likely promoted by populist presidents and that this effect is conditioned by the degree of presidential approval.


Saskia P. Ruth a Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science at the University of Zurich and the Center for Democracy Studies in Aarau. She holds a Diploma in Latin American Studies and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cologne (Germany). She has been a visiting scholar at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Mexico and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). In her research she specializes in comparative politics, clientelism, populism, and Latin American studies. Saskia Ruth has published articles in The Journal of Politics and Latin American Politics and Society. She recently edited the volume "Let the people rule? Direct democracy in the twenty-first century" together with Yanina Welp and Laurence Whitehead (ECPR Press 2017).

Date: 12/6/2017

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Organizer: Department of Political Science

Location: B336, Stora Skansen

Contact person: Natalia Stepanova

Page Manager: Lars-Olof Karlsson|Last update: 3/3/2008

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