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Dr. Christopher Sabatini

Co-Sponsored By: Maryann Sudo & Anonymous

Populism In A Pandemic: Latin America's Hurdles

About the Topic

Across Latin America, “ . . . a new wave of populist movements and leaders has developed as a result of ongoing economic dislocation and popular anger at the political class,” writes Dr. Christopher Sabatini. According to the IMF, in 2019 Latin American economies were “flatlining” with an average growth of zero percent. COVID-19 contracted the economies an average of 8.1 percent. Any rebound appears severely hampered by a lack of vaccines. Meanwhile, from right-leaning Brazil to left-leaning Mexico, populist leaders are characterized by "the personal concentration of power and a view that those who oppose them . . . are enemies of popular will.” Can these populists somehow benefit from the pandemic? How has COVID-19 shaped their movements? And how might the Biden Administration approach this region?

About the Speaker

Dr. Christopher Sabatini is the Senior Research Fellow for Latin America, U.S., and the Americas program at London's Chatham House. He also serves on advisory boards for the Human Rights Watch Americas Division and Harvard’s Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities, focused on higher education. In 2015, Dr. Sabatini founded the research organization Global Americans and in 2007 the policy magazine Americas Quarterly. He has testified multiple times before Congress and is a frequent contributor to media outlets on foreign policy and Latin America. He tweets @ChrisSabatini.