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Binio S. Binev

Binio S. Binev, Assistant Professor

Binio S. Binev, Assistant Professor
Binio S. Binev, Assistant Professor

Department of Political Science
503 Major Williams Hall (0130)
220 Stanger Street 
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-1982  |

Dr. Binev is currently working on a book manuscript exploring the long-term political consequences of market reform in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Based on his doctoral dissertation, this book argues that contemporary populism in two very different world regions is the result neither of economic anxieties nor cultural backlash, but rather of similar political dynamics whose origins during neoliberal critical junctures conditioned parallel societal reactions and illiberal outcomes. The project utilizes a critical juncture approach in a novel way linking agency and structure into a probabilistic explanation of divergent outcomes. It contends that political agency during critical junctures of market reform shaped ensuing opportunity structures by conditioning the ideological positioning and variable electoral performance of “traditional” center-left political actors. In turn, variable opportunity structures were either resources for or constraints on the electoral viability of subsequent populists driven by incentives to maximize anti-establishment legitimacy and endowed with unique organizational capacities for adaptation. In essence, where critical juncture dynamics led to center-left decline, populist electoral power was more likely in both Latin America and post-communist Europe – an argument that prioritizes a focus on societies as arenas that reflect complex interactions between agency, structures, and institutions. By adopting a mixed-method strategy, the project uses an array of quantitative and qualitative data, including original datasets on populist attributes, economic liberalization, electoral volatility, and party nationalization, as well as 100 interviews from fieldwork in Ecuador, Peru, Poland, and Slovakia.

Motivated by an overarching interest in the problems of liberal democracies, Dr. Binev’s other projects include conceptual work on populism, empirical work on party system development in Central and Eastern Europe, and a collaborative project on institutions of governance in Latin America. His broad comparative interests are also reflected in some of the courses he has taught, such as Comparative Government and Politics, European Political Systems, European Union Politics, and Democracy and Populism in Europe and the Americas, as well as lectures he has given on Latin American politics and development. Dr. Binev acquired his teaching experience at various settings which include not only traditional institutions of higher learning but also the Washington D.C. Central Detention Facility (“D.C. Jail”).

  • Comparative Politics
  • European Politics
  • Latin American Politics
  • Comparative Political Economy
  • Democracy and Populism
  • Ph.D., Government, Georgetown University
  • M.A., German and European Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • B.A., Political Science, Stetson University

Journal Articles   

“Mainstream Populism in Post-communist Europe: Ideological Variation, Adaptation, and Success in the Twenty-First Century,” Perspectives on Europe, Vol. 45, No. 1 (2015)

  • Comparative Government and Politics (Fall 2019)
  • European Political Systems (Fall 2019)
  • Democracy and Populism: Europe and the Americas (Spring 2017)
  • European Union Politics (2010, 2011)

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