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Bernal Receives Grant to Study Radical Populism and Presidential Constitutionalism

Angelica Bernal, assistant professor of political science, has received a Faculty Research/Healey Endowment grant for her work on radical populism and presidential constitutionalism in Latin America. 

According to Bernal, recent populist leaders such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa have turned to constitutionalism as a central platform in their presidencies. "This recent turn to constitutionalism represents a challenge to the conventional understanding of populism and reveals new, under-studied dynamics of presidential power," she says.

Her research project will examine these recent constitutional turns in order to better inform the prospects of building and deepening democracy in the region. Building upon previous field research in Ecuador, the study will also examine the politics of constitution-making in Venezuela and Bolivia "in order to better illuminate these complex contemporary processes and shed better light on the relationship between populism and democracy."



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