ARTICLES

RIGHT-WING MODERATION, LEFT-WING INERTIA AND POLITICAL CARTELISATION IN POST-TRANSITION CHILE

By examining the Manifesto Project data for post-transition Chile, we show growing convergence in the electoral competition strategies between the centre-left and centre-right coalitions. While the former is characterised by inertia, the latter is marked by gradual yet relentless programmatic moderation. To interpret these results, we rely not only on theories of salience and party adaptation, but also on the cartel party thesis. This contribution reinforces the findings of increasing literature on post-transition Chile that reveals growing collusion between the mainstream left-wing and right-wing coalitions, which have increasing difficulties channelling demands emanating from below and therefore providing adequate political representation.

UNDERSTANDING POLICY CHANGE THROUGH BRICOLAGE: THE CASE OF CHILE’S RENEWABLE ENERGY POLICY

Chile is a country where path dependency made energy policy change extremely difficult by international standards. However, the country has recently become a renewable energy poster child thanks to a gradual process of policy change. How was this possible? This article contributes to discussions about policy change driven by ideas and to explaining the puzzling case of Chilean energy policy change. It does so by discussing the mechanism of bricolage—the recombination of old and new ideas by policy entrepreneurs—and its capacity to produce policy change in contexts of high path dependency. The article develops the political manifestations and consequences of bricolage and problematizes how actors continue to contest and change ideas' meaning after they have been institutionalized, a key question when analyzing processes of bricolage. The analysis is based on an array of data sources including interviews with key actors, newspaper notes, and legislative proceedings.

CONTINGENT COALITIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICYMAKING: HOW CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS INFLUENCED THE CHILEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY BOOM

This article analyzes the role of social movements and environmental organizations in crafting contingent coalitions to advance renewable energies in Chile. Until recently, Chile presented several conditions predicting the continuation of an arm’s‐length energy policy and a deregulated energy market heavily concentrated on environmentally and socially unfriendly sources. However, gradual but transformative policy change in the last decade has made the country a world leader in renewable energy development. Studying two key moments in energy policy reform, we argue that the contingency of the coalitions that social movements and environmental organizations forged was crucial to the advancement of renewable energy policy and the transformation of the energy sector in the country. The paper advances our understanding of policy change in contexts of high path dependency and status quo bias, and builds the concept of “contingent coalitions,” unifying similar but scattered and under‐theorized notions that capture the fluid dynamics of coalition formation and policy change in environmental policymaking.

THE POLITICS OF NEOLIBERALISM (IN EUROPE'S PERIPHERY)

The Politics of Neoliberalism (in Europe's Periphery)

FROM GREEN LAGGARD TO REGIONAL LEADER: THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN CHILE

Environmental policy in Chile has developed rapidly in recent years, and the country has become a regional leader in renewable energy, climate change policy, recycling, and nature conservation. This contrasts with the previous neglect of environmental issues in the country and its depiction as a ‘green laggard’ (Orihuela, 2014: 251) within Latin America. In this article the recent development of environmental policy in Chile is reviewed and five factors affecting this development are analysed: international influences, institutional legacies, a window of opportunity opened by environmental movements, policy entrepreneurship, and business power.

BUSINESS POWER AND THE MINIMAL STATE: THE DEFEAT OF INDUSTRIAL POLICY IN CHILE

Chile has maintained a limited industrial policy for nearly three decades. Policy resilience during the 2000s and 2010s is especially puzzling given the political and economic context: three Socialist-led administrations; the retreat of the Washington Consensus; resource abundance from the commodity boom; and the decline of the so-called economic ‘miracle’. We present the first comprehensive analysis of industrial policy in post-authoritarian Chile (1990–present) and show the significant political influence of business actors with a preference for limited state intervention in the economy as a mechanism of policy reproduction.

MECHANISMS OF NEOLIBERAL RESILIENCE: COMPARING EXCHANGE RATES AND INDUSTRIAL POLICY IN CHILE AND ESTONIA

The global financial crisis has stimulated much research about the resilience of neoliberalism. However, concrete mechanisms of neoliberal resilience are yet to be elaborated. This article elaborates such mechanisms by incorporating Amable’s notion of institutional hierarchy into Mahoney and Thelen’s gradual institutional change theory. In doing this, it provides a dynamic and politically grounded framework to analyze institutional resilience. Neoliberalism is maintained over time because dominant social blocs defend those policies and institutions that they perceive as more favorable to their interests (high-hierarchy institutions), while allowing degrees of freedom in those that matter less (low-hierarchy institutions). Four mechanisms account for the resilience of high-hierarchy institutions: marginal adjustment, solidification, accommodation and compromise. I explore the potential of this framework by comparing the trajectory of two related policy domains, exchange rates and industrial policy, in countries with a long history of neoliberal policymaking: Chile and Estonia.

EL RESURGIMIENTO DE LA ECONOMÍA POLÍTICA EN LA CIENCIA POLÍTICA ACTUAL

Este artículo describe el desarrollo histórico de las interpretaciones de la economía política, critica la pretensión hegemónica de la economía neoclásica y rescata la “nueva economía política”: el estudio de la constitución social, política y moral de la economía. Muestra como se la concibe en la ciencia política actual y ofrece dos claves de análisis para orientar futuras investigaciones. Por último hace un recorrido por trabajos recientes en América Latina que recogen esta interpretación, en especial las revisiones de la literatura sobre ‘economía política de la política económica’, y algunos estudios sobre las variedades del capitalismo.

VARIEDADES DE CAPITALISMO Y SUS CONTRIBUCIONES AL ESTUDIO DEL DESARROLLO EN AMÉRICA LATINA

La literatura sobre variedades de capitalismo ha impulsado significativamente la investigación en economía política comparada a nivel global, y ha ido en aumento en América Latina como una manera de comprender los problemas y alternativas del desarrollo. Dadas las crecientes críticas, cabe preguntarse ¿cuáles -si es que existen- son sus contribuciones al estudio del desarrollo en la región? Revisando la adaptación de esta literatura a América Latina, y considerando críticas y limitaciones, argumentamos que ésta ofrece tres posibilidades significativas para impulsar el estudio de las alternativas del desarrollo latinoamericano: primero, abre nuevos frentes de investigación en políticas públicas comparadas; segundo, permite revitalizar viejos debates sobre el capitalismo regional; finalmente, vuelve a poner a la región en el centro del estudio sobre el capitalismo contemporáneo y su devenir.

 

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