Sociology PhD Candidate Wins 2023 Erik Olin Wright Award
Jorge Daniel Vásquez, PhD candidate in sociology, recently received the 2023 Erik Olin Wright Distinguished Article Award for his paper "The Political Sociology of 21st-Century Populism in Latin America: A Critique of the Ecuadorian Case." The award recognizes an outstanding contribution published by a junior scholar in Critical Sociology. From the paper's abstract:
"This paper calls into question the universal application of the concept of populism. It points to how particular historical processes need to be taken into account when addressing the formation of populism in Latin American countries. Unlike more theorized cases as Argentinian or Mexican populism, I use the Ecuadorian case to show how critical historical contextualization of 21st-century populism requires analyzing the continuities and ruptures with sociological knowledge about a particular populism. Such an analysis of continuities and ruptures shows the theoretical convergences among Latin America as a region and the political dynamics of specific historical processes. I highlight how the conceptions of 21st-century Ecuadorian populism as a “passive revolution” or “authoritarian disfigurement of democracy” provide some theoretical tools for examining the historical process of Ecuadorian populism but ultimately fall short of critical analysis. In conclusion, I derived from the Ecuadorian case some elements for the analysis of Latin American populist projects."