Start Submission

Reading: Chile’s democratic road to authoritarianism: From neostructuralist bargain to state of emerg...

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Special Collection | Colección Especial

Chile’s democratic road to authoritarianism: From neostructuralist bargain to state of emergency

Author:

Manuel Larrabure

Bucknell University, US
About Manuel

Manuel Larrabure is assistant professor in the Department of International Relations at Bucknell University. His current research focuses on the crisis of the “pink tide”, and the rise of the new right in Latin America. His work has been published in leading journals, including New Political Economy, Latin American Perspectives, and Canadian Journal of Development Studies. Professor Larrabure is currently beginning a new research project, which attempts to understand the impact that next generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology, is having on Latin America.

X close

Abstract

The ongoing crisis of Latin America’s pink tide seems to confirm the warnings of populist decline that first emerged in mainstream political science in the early years of the twenty-first century. At the heart of this view is a sharp distinction between moderate centre-left governments on a supposed path to progress, and a radical left bound towards economic crisis and authoritarianism. Under almost three decades of near exclusive center-left governance in Chile, as witnessed most recently in the October 2019 state of emergency, the result has not been a gradual and linear path to democratic engagement and progress, but rather the undermining of the country’s democratic institutions; and with the recent electoral victories of right-wing parties and coalitions, also the return of authoritarianism. This democratic decline is directly attributed to the centre-left’s incapacity to adequately meet the demands of the student movement, applying what I call the “neostructuralist bargain” to diffuse the movement’s ambitions to directly participate in educational reform. However, the recent emergence of the Frente Amplio coalition suggests a possible answer to the growing reality of authoritarianism in Chile.

Resumen: La vía democrática Chilena hacia el autoritarismo: del acuerdo neoestructural al estado de emergencia

La actual crisis de la marea rosa de América Latina parece confirmar los argumentos que surgieron por primera vez dentro de la ciencia política dominante en los primeros años del siglo XXI que advertían sobre un supuesto declive populista. En el centro de esta visión se encuentra una aguda distinción entre los gobiernos moderados de centro izquierda en un supuesto camino hacia el progreso, y una izquierda radical encaminada hacia la crisis económica y el autoritarismo. Durante cerca de tres décadas de gobierno casi exclusivamente de centro-izquierda en Chile, el resultado no ha sido un camino gradual y lineal hacia el compromiso y el progreso democrático, sino más bien el debilitamiento de las instituciones democráticas del país, y con las recientes victorias electorales de partidos y coaliciones de la derecha, también el retorno del autoritarismo. Este declive democrático es el resultado directo de la incapacidad de la centro-izquierda para satisfacer adecuadamente las demandas del movimiento estudiantil, aplicando lo que denomino “acuerdo neoestructuralista” para diluir las ambiciones del movimiento de participar de forma directa en la reforma educativa. Sin embargo, el reciente surgimiento de la coalición Frente Amplio sugiere una posible respuesta al creciente autoritarismo en Chile, más reciente visto en el estado de emergencia de octubre 2019.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10481
How to Cite: Larrabure, M. (2019). Chile’s democratic road to authoritarianism: From neostructuralist bargain to state of emergency. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (108), 221–243. DOI: http://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10481
24
Views
10
Downloads
Published on 18 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)