Populism from above and below: the path to regression in Brazil

D (Daniela) Andrade

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

8 Downloads (Pure)


Brazil has recently shifted from economic growth to recession, from
left-wing to far-right politics and from neo-developmentalist to
ultra-liberal economic policies. This regressive change in Brazil (and
elsewhere) has prompted the need for empirical investigation and
emancipatory movement-building, as urged by the Emancipatory
Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI). This article responds to the ERPI call
by reflecting on the politics of the past. It argues that the road to
regression was paved during the tenure of the Workers’ Party,
when Lula’s leadership emerged as representative of interests ‘from
below’ while advancing a political project that protected and
nurtured interests ‘from above’ - a populist ambiguity. By offering
an understanding from a class political economy perspective, this
article concludes that reinforcing left-wing populism in the face of
authoritarianism is unlikely to create a path to emancipation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAuthoritarian Populism and the Rural World
EditorsIan Scoones, Marc Edelman, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Lyda Fernanda Forero, Ruth Hall, Wendy Wolford, Ben White
ISBN (Print)9780367753870
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Populism from above and below: the path to regression in Brazil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this