Politics in Venezuela

Explaining Hugo Chávez

by Michael Derham (Author)
©2010 Monographs VIII, 346 Pages


Hugo Chávez is heavily criticised by the international political class and the press and media. He is dismissed academically as a ‘populist’ and dismissed more generally as a rabble rouser whose anti-American outbursts threaten regional stability, at the least. However, a lot of the criticism and reporting lacks context. Outside the country, not much is known about modern Venezuela and even less about the history from which today’s reality has emerged. Why is Chávez so loud and outspoken? If he is so bad, why does he keep getting elected? Does he really have the backing of a majority? Is he destroying democracy in his own country and creating division and strife?
This book not only answers these questions, and others, such as why, in Venezuela, the 1950s dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez is often claimed to have worked better than democracy. It also shows how Venezuela’s Antagonistic State, between 1958 and 1998, led to the destruction of a whole political and economic elite.


VIII, 346
ISBN (Softcover)
Dictatorship Antagonistic State Illegitimate democracy Political elite
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. VIII, 346 pp., 7 tables and graphs

Biographical notes

Michael Derham (Author)

The Author: Michael Derham studied classical archaeology, ancient history and Hispanic studies at Liverpool University. He wrote a doctoral thesis on Spanish immigration into Venezuela and its 1950s political context, in the School of Latin American Studies at Liverpool University. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies at Northumbria University in Newcastle.


Title: Politics in Venezuela