works in progress

What’s new? 4 drafts and 1 project!

1. The idea of apogee and decline of cathedral music in Chile during the 19th Century (article)

Valeska Cabrera, as corresponding author, and I are making some finishing touch on this draft. It basically consists in demonstrating how an important period of Chilean music during the 19th Century was deemed as decadent and inferior by the expert historiography. Nevertheless, its judgements were influenced more by contextual aspects, such as the dichotomy clerical/anticlerical,  than based on musicological facts. Many of the evidence utlized to conduct this research are part of Valeska’s PhD dissertation. This research was funded by ‘Fondo de la Música, 2017’ (Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage. Republic of Chile).

Abstract. The musicological canon established the idea of a so-called apogee and decline of cathedral music in Chile during the 19th Century, which asserts that musicians involved in the Reform of Sacred Music represented the decline of the music performed inside the Cathedral of Santiago de Chile, while the secular masters of this Cathedral represented a period of apogee when they directed the Musical Chapel. Nevertheless, new evidence indicates that this historical narrative about the cathedral music is not founded on the basis of hard facts related to musical performance, but on other aspects regarding the viewpoint of hegemonic musicology. Thus, this article provides an analysis that criticizes the musicological canon through the in-depth study of the professional life of Manuel Arrieta. This Basque priest-musician became choirmaster in Chile and has been blamed for representing the alleged decline.

Do you want to know more about it? Download some sample pages in… not yet.

2. Bringing culture back in: Latin American populism in historical perspective (article)

Abstract. Culture as an independent variable has been generally neglected by mainstream studies on Latin American populism, which has entailed a decrease of explanatory potential in the majority of them. In trying to close this gap, this article presents some theoretical arguments related to the cultural construction of a Latin American ethos during colonial times. In this sense, an important question is: what is the role of culture in unraveling populism? Culture would correspond to a long-term cause, among several recent causes, which has a demonstrable effect on populism. In order to support this assertion, this article also provides some essential theoretical distinctions and empirical evidence for addressing how distinctive and contradictory repertoires of the Latin American ethos, created in days gone by, can affect a current social phenomenon as populism.

Do you want to know more about it? Download some sample pages in PDF.

3. Inclusion, exclusion and the persistence of integration in Latin American populism (article)

Abstract. Over the last two decades, populism has been mainly studied from discursive approaches, which understand it as a radical, even moral, dichotomy between ‘people’ and ‘elite’. However, such a dichotomy tends to darken the concrete operations of people’s inclusion and elite’s exclusion. Stated in another way, only through semantics, it is not possible to know who are effectively included and excluded, neither how these processes operate. In this sense, systems theory provides us an adequate conceptual framework for studying inclusion and exclusion problems in current societies. Thus, unlike non-planned exclusion due to poverty as a consequence of development models, under populism the State tries to carry out a planned exclusion of some specific sectors of the elite; while populist inclusion is effectively developed in a partial and planned manner, which mainly reached unionized workers in classical populism, but expanded to include informal workers and grassroots organizations in Chavism.

Do you want to know more about it? Download some sample pages in PDF.

4. How populisms are established: Causal mechanisms in Latin American politics (article)

Abstract. Studies on populism have been dominated by discursive approaches at present, undermining the research of its causes. But although it is founded some works that inquiry into it through causal models, systematic studies of specific connections between causes and outcome are largely absent. In order to solve this, process-tracing method provides us the necessary tools to unravel how populism is caused, in other words, the way in which it has been established. Thus, by assessing causal mechanisms of three recent studies that, rather implicitly, develop what is ‘in between’, it is abstracted a new and more general one. This is then tested in three paradigmatic cases of Latin American populism.  It allows us inductively to improve this new theoretical mechanism, as well as to provide a more robust explanation on populism.

Do you want to know more about it? Download some sample pages in PDF.

5. Declining structures: Inquiring into macro-social causes of Latin American populism (project)

Introduction in progress. In Latin America, the history of studies on populism has had a strong transition, from research that are based on —to paraphrase Charles Tilly (1984)— big structures and large processes to those which mainly consist of discursive or content analysis. It was initiated at the beginning of the sixties by Gino Germani, who wrote his famous book entitled Política y Sociedad en una Época de Transición (1962), and continued by several Latin American scholars, such as Di Tella, Weffort or Ianni.

After a few years, at the end of the sixties, an outstanding work of the Latin American thinking was launched by Fernando Cardoso and Enzo Falleto: Dependencia y Desarrollo en América Latina (1969), which further encouraged and broadened the development of this structural approach. Over the years, however, this structural predominance began to change, despite the book Latin American Populism in Comparative Perspective edited by Michael Conniff in 1982, which could also be considered part of this approach.

In fact, at the end of the seventies, another research line on populism was created in Latin America. Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory: Capitalism, Fascism, Populism by Ernesto Laclau (1977) was indeed the foundation stone of the international approach known subsequently as the ‘Essex School’ or post-structuralism, which entailed the first strong questioning that the structural approach had to face. Nowadays, post-structuralism has globally gained far-reaching importance as well, being Stavrakakis or Howarth some of the leading exponents.

At the beginning of the nineties, the study of Latin American populism as structure started to be confined to economic realm, losing its hegemony in understanding populism as a ‘total phenomenon’. Thus, two works were written in 1990 and 1991, respectively: an article of Rudiguer Dornbusch and Sebastián Edwards entitled Macroeconomic populism —who edited a book on this subject after a year—; and a book, Populismo econômico: ortodoxia, desemvolvimentismo e populismo na América Latina, edited by Carlos Bresser-Pereira. As the authors of such an article asserted, populism can be understood as a particular economic policy or as a way to manage economy “(…) that emphasizes economic growth and income redistribution and deemphasizes the risks of inflation and deficit finance” (Dornbusch & Edwards 1990, 247)…