Aristide and the Politics of Democratization

Nick Nesbitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The contemporaneous publication of Alex Dupuy’s The Prophet and the Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Peter Hallward’s Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment in 2007 marks a watershed in contemporary Haitian Studies. Together, these two critically engaged volumes extensively document the complex and contentious path of the post-Duvalier era in Haitian politics. These volumes together describe the invention of a post-authoritarian populist political sequence, one that after 1990 coalesced around the charismatic leadership of a previously unknown Roman Catholic priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The article contrasts the authors’ fundamentally different understandings of democracy, one based on consensus and the just distribution of goods and benefits and the other invoking the participation of the excluded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalSmall Axe
Issue number3 30
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


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