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Cristina Ramirez is a PhD student with the King´s Brazil Institute and the University of Sao Paulo. Her research centres around Political Science and International Relations. She holds an MSc in Latin American Politics from University College London and BA in Social Communications. During her masters, her research focused on the evolution of armed guerrillas groups into political parties. Her dissertation was titled: The Evolution of Armed Subversive Organisations in Liberal Democracies: A Case Study of Montoneros. She has worked as a financial and political journalist and has covered important events such as the US elections, Brexit among others. She currently has a political radios segment called Europa en Directo. 


Thesis title: 'The New Rise of Populism in the Americas: A Comparative Analysis of Trump and Bolsonaro'

This work intends to contribute to the understanding of the recent surge of populism in the Americas through the study of the political success of Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, and the extent to which they translated their electoral agendas into viable public policies. There has been a resurgence of populism in developed liberal democracies. Never before have the citizens of these countries been so critical of their political systems or voted for leaders who expressed such open disregard for their rules. Given the profound differences between North America and Latin America dating back generations, comparing their political systems has been a challenging task for academics. However, recent developments such as the election of Trump and Bolsonaro warrant a more in-depth comparative study to better understand how populist candidates convince voters to elect them and the extent to which they presided over effective government administrations.

Despite their differences Brazil and the US, the two largest democracies in the Americas, seem to be going through a similar process. This offers an excellent opportunity for comparative analysis. I will aim to provide a framework to help understand the relationship between candidate and voter and to shed some light on what the electorate gets out of electing these types of leaders, insights that will hopefully be useful for those trying to understand the impact of populism on the future of liberal democracy within the hemisphere. For this, a better comprehension of how the two leaders communicate with the electorate and their use of traditional media and social media is of relevance. 

PhD supervision

Further details

See Cristina's research profile