What Drives Evo’s Attempts to Remain in Power? A Psychological Explanation

Ignacio Arana Araya

Abstract


The current Bolivian President, Evo Morales, has managed to govern longer than all of his predecessors thanks to his three successful attempts to relax his term limits. In this article I argue that the high risk-taking personality of Morales, especially his social risk-taking, helps to explain why he has consistently tried to extend his time in office. To address this proposition I follow a twofold strategy. First, I show the results of a survey conducted among experts in presidents of the Americas. This survey measured different personality traits of the leaders that governed between 1945 and 2012, including their risk-taking. Second, I examine some of the most important decisions that Morales has made throughout his adult life. Both the survey and the analysis of Morales’ trajectory suggest that his attempts to cling to power are rooted in his risk-taking. 

El actual presidente boliviano, Evo Morales, ha logrado gobernar más que todos sus predecesores gracias a sus tres intentos exitosos de extender los límites de su mandato. En este artículo argumento que la personalidad de alta propensión al riesgo de Morales, especialmente su propensión a los riesgos sociales, ayuda a entender por qué ha tratado consistentemente de extender su mandato presidencial. Para examinar esta propuesta sigo una estrategia doble. Primero, muestro los resultados de una encuesta realizada a expertos en presidentes latinoamericanos. Esta encuesta midió diferentes rasgos de personalidad de los líderes que gobernaron entre 1945 y 2012, incluyendo su propensión al riesgo. Segundo, examino algunas de las decisiones más importantes que Morales ha tomado a lo largo de su vida adulta. Tanto la encuesta como el análisis de la trayectoria de Morales sugieren que sus intentos por conservar el poder están arraigados en su propensión al riesgo.


Keywords


constitution; Evo Morales; nationalizations; risk-taking; term limits; constitución; límite de mandatos; nacionalizaciones; propensión al riesgo

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/bsj.2016.167

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