Politics in Chile: Democracy, Authoritarianism, and the Search for Development

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Westview Press, 1999 - Political Science - 304 pages
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In her historically grounded investigation of the dramatic political changes in Chile over the past thirty years, Lois Oppenheim focuses on identifying the dynamics of political conflict underlying this turbulent period. After a brief historical overview, she examines Allende’s attempt to enact revolutionary socialism through the ballot box and analyses the constellation of internal and external factors that led to its bloody end. The book then looks at the political and socioeconomic transformations that took place under the military dictatorship of Pinochet, which rejected the state-directed development model in favor of a rigid, free-market economic model, but under conditions of political repression.In this second edition, Oppenheim has significantly updated the section on the return to civilian rule after 1990. Looking at the presidencies of both Aylwin and Frei, she focuses on their efforts to reconstruct democratic practices and institutions, including resolving sensitive issues such as human rights violations and civil-military relations. In a new, concluding chapter, Oppenheim explores the implications of the country’s new economic standing as an economic success story—a “Latin American jaguar”—and its significance as a model for the region as a whole. She raises questions about the long-term viability of the neoliberal project and discusses the political and economic challenges that still confront Chile.

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An Overview of Chilean Politics
Chiles Experiment in Socialism

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About the author (1999)

Silvia Borzutzky is director of the political science program at Carnegie Mellon University. Lois Hecht Oppenheim is professor of political science at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.

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