Populists and technocrats in Latin America: Conflict, cohabitation, and cooperation

Rodrigo Barrenechea, Eduardo Dargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The literature frequently presents populists and technocrats as antagonistic. Although undoubtedly there are good historical examples that confirm this tension, in this article we propose that the relations between economic technocrats and populists are less conflictive than usually assumed and cohabitation a more common outcome than expected. We argue that two conditions moderate conflict between populists and economic technocrats, leading not only to their cohabitation but to cooperation between them: the programmatic mandate of populists and the economic context of their rise to power. We analyse the relations of economic experts with nine populist presidents in contemporary Latin America to show this argument’s soundness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-519
Number of pages11
JournalPolitics and Governance
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Latin America
  • Political economy
  • Populism
  • Technocrats


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