This article investigates Francisco Weffort’s thinking through the reconstruction of the Populism in Brazilian Politics collection, published in 1978, but comprising texts from 1963 to 1971. Using philological techniques, the study discusses the author’s writings gathered for the book publication, contextualizing and comparing them in their different versions. By reconstructing the author’s writing moments, the article characterizes his intellectual and political environments, as well as his different populism interpretations over time. It then explores writings on the subject from 1972 to 1978 which were not included in the assessed collection. The article proposes that: a) at least two senses concerning the populism concept prior to 1971 are present in the 1978 collection and that b) consequently, Populism in Brazilian politics does not contemplate a homogeneous or finalized definition of the concept, as it excludes the populist unionism concept that Weffort worked with throughout the 1970s. Finally, it concludes that, in order to carry out a rigorous critique of the populism concept noted in Weffort, it is important to take into account a rigorously chronological reading of the collection, as well as of other texts from this period left out of this collection.
Francisco Weffort; Populism; Brazilian political thought; History of Political Thought; Philology