Authoritarian Populism as a Response to Crisis: The Case of Brazil - Esra AKGEMCI

06/05/2022
ULUSLARARASI ILISKILER, VOLUME 19, NUMBER 74, 2022

Esra AKGEMCI* 

ABSTRACT
This article demonstrates that the authoritarian populist strategy is most appealing when leaders create a sense of crisis and present themselves as having the only solution. The article underlines three performative methods of how Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil offered simple answers for a crisis and portrayed other political actors as the responsible ones to be removed. Firstly, nativism presents a conservative view on how politics should be structured by perceiving all “non-natives” as threatening. Secondly, messianism, the fetishism of Bolsonaro as a “messiah” who leads the way in the battle between “good” and “evil,” serves to reinforce the support of the Evangelist base against “PT members.” Finally, conspiracism provides an easy way to eradicate ambiguities and helps to fuel an antagonism against the “enemy.”

Keywords:   Bolsonaro, performance of crisis, nativism, messianism, conspiracism

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Assistant Professor, Selçuk University, Department of International Relations.