Venezuela's democratic erosion with Maryhen Jiménez


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Since Hugo Chávez came to power in the presidential election in 1998, Venezuela has experienced a staggering democratic erosion, with increasing levels of repression. As soon as Chávez assumed office, he initiated the writing of a new constitution through a controversial process that was approved by citizens in two referendums, yet with very low turnout.

With Maryhen Jiménez I discuss how Venezuela transitioned from a weak democratic system in the 1990s to an authoritarian regime. She walks us not only through major political developments prior to the 1999 constitution, but provides fascinating insights into how Chávez was able to capture and concentrate power while the opposition tried to use institutional and extra-institutional means to regain control of the political process. In particular she shares the findings of her research on the attempts of the opposition to coordinate and join forces to challenge the power of Chávez and later Maduro.

Maryhen Jiménez is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Latin American Centre, and holds a PhD from the Department of Politics and International Relations, both at Oxford University. She was also a visiting researcher at Princeton University, and the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico.

Show notes with a full transcript and links to all material discussed:

Schedule: 0:00 Introduction / 4:25 Personal questions / 10:56 main discussion / 59:55 Recommendations by Maryhen Jiménez

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Please enjoy this wide ranging conversation with Maryhen Jiménez.

34 episoder