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Fascists or Revolutionaries? Left and Right Politics of the Rural Poor

Leslie E. Anderson
International Political Science Review / Revue internationale de science politique
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), pp. 191-214
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20445047
Page Count: 24
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Fascists or Revolutionaries? Left and Right Politics of the Rural Poor
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Abstract

This article compares rural support for authoritarian populism in the new democracies in western Europe and Latin America. Literature on mass-based peasant revolutions sees the rural poor as revolutionaries, but an earlier, Marxist view saw them as counter-revolutionary. What can we expect of rural people in new democracies? The article examines four cases of rural support for authoritarian populism and contrasts them with patterns of peasant leftism. Two factors explain the difference: (1) background factors (economic and social relations, the nature of land tenure) and (2) foreground factors (political leadership, organizational style, and rhetoric). The article considers these conclusions for the contemporary international context and draws implications for democratization today. /// Cet essai compare le soutien rural au populisme autoritaire dans les nouvelles démocraties d'Europe de l'Ouest et d'Amérique latine. La littérature sur les révolutions rurales de masse considère les pauvres du monde rural comme des révolutionnaires, mais une approche antérieure, marxiste, les a considéré comme contre-révolutionnaires. Que pouvons-nous attendre des paysans dans les nouvelles démocraties? Sont examinés quatre cas de soutien rural au populisme autoritaire, étudiés par rapport à d'autres modèles ou au gauchisme rural. Deux types de facteurs expliquent les différences: (1) facteurs de fond (relations économiques et sociales, nature de la tenure de la terre); (2) facteurs de premier plan (direction politique, modèle d'organisation, rhétorique). L'article considère ces conclusions dans le contexte international contemporain et esquisse des implications pour la démocratisation aujourd'hui.

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