Date of Award
Senior Honors Thesis
College or School
Communication; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Program or Major
Bachelor of Arts
Following the 2016 presidential election of populist outsider Donald Trump, several think pieces throughout the popular press conjectured a comparison between Trump and former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Citing their populist rhetoric, brash and coarse sense of humor, and shared propensity for fiery tirades against the press, these articles made foreboding predictions about the status of American democracy. However, these short and sometimes anecdotally-based opinion pieces failed to acknowledge several important differences between Trump and Latin American populists like Chávez. This paper will address this gap in understanding by evaluating the comparison from an academic perspective. Through in-depth case studies of the political and social contexts of Donald Trump, Hugo Chávez, and another Latin American populist, Rafael Correa, the paper will consider the veracity and implications of a comparison among the leaders. Furthermore, the paper will explore how these comparisons inform the intersection of government, media, and democracy.
Harris, Charlotte Blair, "An American Hugo Chávez? Investigating the Comparisons between Donald Trump and Latin American Populists" (2018). Honors Theses and Capstones. 432.
Communication Technology and New Media Commons, Critical and Cultural Studies Commons, Latin American Languages and Societies Commons, Latin American Studies Commons, Political Science Commons, Social Influence and Political Communication Commons