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Revista de ciencia política (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-090X


SIAVELIS, PETER M. Enclaves of the Transition and Chilean Democracy. Rev. cienc. polít. (Santiago) [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.1, pp.3-21. ISSN 0718-090X.

Some of the difficulties of Michelle Bachelet Government and the more generalized crisis of Chile's governing Concertacián coalition have increasingly been tied to leadership variables, the exhaustion of the coalition with respect to its core ideals, or the need for various types of institutional reform. This paper considers the possibility that the very model of transition which has been lauded as so successful might actually be at the root of the difficulties that today plague both the Concertación and Chilean democracy more generally. This paper argues that the interaction of the electoral system and the structure of post-authoritarian competition have forced an elitist form of politics that helps to explain the current difficulties plaguing the Concertación coalition and fueled a generalized crisis of representation. To make this argument it builds on the work of Manuel Antonio Garretón concerning authoritarian enclaves, arguing that there are certain enclaves of the transition that get in the way of the development of a high quality representative democracy. These transitional enclaves include: el cuoteo, elite control of candidate selection and electoral politics, party dominated politics, elitist and extra-institutional policy-making, and the untouchability of the economic model inherited from the Pinochet government.

Palabras clave : Chile; Michelle Bachelet; transitional enclaves; Concertación; authoritarian enclaves.

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