Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Paul R. Viotti


Hugo Chávez, Venezuela, Democracy


Social movements facilitate democratic transitions. However, the understanding of the modern democracy as a firmly institutionalized system has little room for the emergence and maintenance of influential social movements. This trend is changing as leaders of democratic states in Latin America begin to identify the disfranchised as a power base. This effort to include previously marginalized groups has allowed social movements to participate more intensively in the political process, as allies of the state. The result of this alliance is a shift from a representative democracy to a participatory democracy. The purpose of this thesis to determine why, when, and how significant social movements emerge as enduring allies of political leaders in solidified democratic states. This thesis will link political decision making at the presidential level with the maintenance of significant social movements as winning coalition members. It argues that social movements are essential to the political survival of particular presidential administrations. This thesis will examine the alliance between President Hugo Chávez and Venezuela’s social movements as its case study.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. This work may only be accessed by members of the University of Denver community. The work is provided by permission of the author for individual research purposes only and may not be further copied or distributed. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Kelly C. Hart


Received from author

File Format




File Size

153 pgs


International studies