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


  • Ignacio Arana Araya Instituto de Ciencia Política Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile




constitution, Evo Morales, nationalizations, risk-taking, term limits


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. 

Author Biography

Ignacio Arana Araya, Instituto de Ciencia Política Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Investigador postdoctoral 

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile