Alberto Fujimori, Deceiving Democracy: Source of Power for Neo-Populism and Neo-Authoritarianism in Peru, 1990 to 2000
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CitationCorrea, Javier. 2021. Alberto Fujimori, Deceiving Democracy: Source of Power for Neo-Populism and Neo-Authoritarianism in Peru, 1990 to 2000. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractAlberto Fujimori served the people of Peru as President from 1990 to 2000. Political science scholars have documented his tenure as one marked by major successes with regard to the fight against terrorism as well as stabilizing economic growth in the country. Nevertheless, Fujimori’s tenure was also viewed as quite controversial. Was he a democratic leader, or was his success achieved through authoritarianism and neo-popular measures? Questions remain: how did he achieve success? How was an “outsider” able to gain vast democratic support from Peruvians for such a relatively long period of time?
Through a rigorous document review and analytical process, this qualitative study uncovered three important factors that influenced the political outcomes achieved by Fujimori: (1) strategic actions with regard to the media; (2) targeting of fiscal resources toward social programs; and (3) Fujimori’s overall character, which greatly influenced his ability to achieve success across the decade he was in power. I reviewed 75 documents in the form of policies, speeches, videos, executive orders, laws, unclassified cables, and news broadcasting to gain a deep understanding of the complexities that existed throughout Fujimori’s presidency.
The results point to a tenure that made strategic use of the media and fiscal resources for social programs that then covertly deceived the people of Peru into believing he was a traditional democratic leader. Fujimori’s ability to connect with his constituents, as well as his personality and character, served to further advance his political goals, thus undermining democracy and embracing neo-authoritarian approaches to leadership.
This thesis contributes to the existing knowledge base of the Fujimori era in Peru by unpacking the qualitative variables that contributed to his success beyond economics while also eradicating terrorism.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367673
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