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Latin American populism was widely thought to have run its course by the 1980's as the region embraced far-reaching market reforms. In recent years, however, new and strikingly diverse populist movements have returned to political prominence, reopening historic debates about the meaning of populism and its political and economic correlates. This article suggests that populism should be understood as a top-down process of political mobilization that is directed by a dominant personality, and it traces the resurgence of populist movements to the political and economic limitations of Latin America's "dual transitions" to democracy and market liberalism at the end of the 20th century. In particular, populism's revival is rooted in the institutional frailties and market insecurities of contemporary Latin American democracies, conditions that have made the region prone to new patterns of social and political mobilization.