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After Neoliberalism?The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America$
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Gustavo A. Flores-Macias

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199891658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891658.001.0001

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Party System in Disarray

Party System in Disarray

Venezuela’s Statist Revisionism

Chapter:
(p.94) 4 Party System in Disarray
Source:
After Neoliberalism?
Author(s):

Gustavo Flores-Macías

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891658.003.0004

Chapter 4 discusses the role of the party system in explaining statist economic reforms in Venezuela during Hugo Chávez’s presidency. It argues that the disarray of the party system during the late 1980s and early 1990s favored the rise of outsider, anti-system candidates and steered decision making away from Congress, which undermined the opposition’s ability to shape the president’s economic reforms. Once these reforms were undertaken, oil revenues allowed Chávez to sustain statist policies over time. Although sudden economic crises were absent in the years leading to Chávez’s election in 1998, the gradual deterioration of economic conditions contributed to the weakening of the party system. Other factors, including organized labor, the depth of neoliberal reforms, and the weakness that characterized the executive at the time Chávez reached power did not play a significant role in explaining statist reforms in Venezuela.

Keywords:   Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, party system, economic reforms, economic crises, oil, resource curse, organized labor, neoliberalism, executive powers

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