, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
More excellent original research by @Guardian and @TeamPopulism , this time on consequences of populist rule. A few quick thoughts. #thread theguardian.com/world/2019/mar…
1. I wonder how specific the historical, political context is in which this research takes place. It is the height of neoliberalism, where there is almost a perfect opposition between neoliberalism and populism (some exceptions, like Lula).
2. While effects are not solely related to left populists in Latin America, they are the key driver. At same time, left non-populists in Latin America, like Lula, who also significantly reduced inequality, are minority of non-neoliberal non-populists.
3. Consequently, I wonder how big the differences would be within each region, controlling, more or less, for geographical (ideological) factors.
4. Then, as noted but not elaborated upon, this was the period of the natural resources boom, with very high prices for oil and gas, which enabled much of the social spending. Probably would also have been done by non-populists, albeit less so.
5. Also, and related, Venezuela started to actively sponsor, and subsidize, similar regimes in the region, which could also have played a role.
6. My main issue, however, is one that plays out in social sciences more general, economics and political science alike: how trustworthy are those numbers?
7. Many scholars, and practitioners, either act as if official numbers are "objective" and not influenced by political considerations (which has been proven to be wrong on so many occasions) or that the bias is roughly constant and therefore irrelevant for (trend) analyses.
8. But does it really make sense that regime that pressure media to control its message would not control its official statistics? And that it would do this differently than a regime that does not pressure media? 🙄
9. More concretely, do we really believe that the government numbers under Orbán are equally (non-)biased as under his predecessors? Or under Maduro, for whom inequality numbers go to the core of his legitimacy?
10. That all said, this is awesome new research and great to see media and academia collaborate to make it happen. #TheEnd 🙌
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