Abstract

Abstract:

In May 2021, Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele used his legislative supermajority to fire the country's highest court and top prosecutor. The power grab deepened El Salvador's democratic crisis by dealing a major blow to horizontal accountability. What explains Bukele's rise and the concomitant decline of democratic institutions in El Salvador? Bukele's success relies on millennial authoritarianism: an innovative political strategy combining traditional populist appeals and classic authoritarian behavior with a youthful and modern personal brand built on social media. His emergence has also been facilitated by two broader factors that challenge the conventional wisdom about democracy and democratic backsliding: the hidden long-term costs of democratic pacts and the unintended consequences of fighting corruption.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 19-32
Launched on MUSE
2021-07-10
Open Access
No
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