Political Polarisation in Venezuela: Antagonism and hegemony

Stream: Panel 85 - Political Theory: Democratic Reforms and Populism
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm


This paper investigates the polarisation that dominates Venezuelan politics and divides the political spectrum into two hegemonic camps. By using Critical Discourse Analysis, the paper demonstrates the ways ‘Chavismo’ and the ‘Opposition’ have conceptualised participation in Venezuela and how this has worked to create political identifications and polarisation. It explores how hegemony is constructed through the creation of the political frontier around the concept of ‘participation’ since 2000 when the model of protagonist and participatory democracy was introduced in the Venezuelan Constitution. The paper argues that the polarisation in Venezuela illustrate some constrains that counter-hegemonic processes face. Finally, it considers some of the problems polarisation poses in Laclau’s theory of hegemony.


Ybiskay Gonzalez Tores (Presenter), University of Newcastle
Sociologist, MA in Participation and Politics, and PhD candidate in Politics.