Politics and Business as (un)usual? The Electoral Performance of Businessmen Presidential Candidates in Africa and Latin America

Event type: 
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 5 September, 2017 - 12:45 to 14:00
Dr Robert Nyenhuis
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

With the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential contest, analysts struggled to put forth a series of explanations to account for the seemingly surprising result. The dominant narrative in much of the discourse is that the billionaire’s victory represents an electoral anomaly of sorts. However, a more comprehensive examination of global politics (Africa, Latin America) demonstrates the empirical reality that businessmen candidates throughout the world have considerable electoral success. In this project, I develop and test an original theory designed to account for these candidates’ electoral success—that businessmen candidates have greater electoral success when citizens hold high levels of admiration for entrepreneurs and favor neoliberal macro-economic policies. 

Presenter biography: Dr Nyenhuis is a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at Cal Poly Ponoma. He is currently working on a book on why Latin American voters for populist presidential candidates, and research projects on citizen’s voting behaviour in presidential systems