Understanding the outsider approach

Briggs, Ted
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University of Delaware
This paper aims to conceptualize "outsider" as an approach to gaining power as well as to provide a language with which we can discuss outsiders. It begins with an argument for how outsiders pose a threat to liberal democracy. In order to explore understand how outsiders come to power, the case studies of Alberto Fujimori‘s 1990 election in Peru and Hugo Cháevez‘s 1998 election in Venezuela are examined in depth. The descriptions of how they were able to win sheds light on the dynamics of the outsider approach and what factors make such an approach electorally competitive. The paper concludes with observations on these factors and an outlook for possible policy. My argument and my research evolved throughout the course of writing this thesis. At first, the preoccupation of my research focused on the case studies, but upon finding a lack of language and research to use in describing the outsiders, my research endeavor focused on the task of providing a language and case studies. While the focus bifurcated, I hope that both areas of research complement each other.