The nexus of populism and foreign policy: The case of Latin America

Leslie E. Wehner, Cameron G. Thies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The term populism has recently gained visibility in the media and policy world to describe the foreign policy principles, rhetoric and strategies of political actors in the United States and some European states. Yet, populism is nothing new in Latin America where it has enjoyed a long tradition among leaders of various countries. Populism has thus far largely been treated as a national phenomenon with few international manifestations. Thus, this article adopts the concept of populism and its core components such as anti-elitism, the people, and the general will within a role theory framework to trace the foreign policy roles that populist governments play as a first step to improving our knowledge on the nexus of populism and foreign policy. We examine this framework in the context of the foreign policy of Carlos Menem of Argentina and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Relations
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Argentina and Venezuela
  • populism-foreign policy
  • role change
  • roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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