Chapter

Market‐Oriented Development Strategies and State–Society Relations in New Democracies: Lessons from Contemporary Chile and Spain

Eric Hershberg

in The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780198781837
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598968 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198781830.003.0014

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Market‐Oriented Development Strategies and State–Society Relations in New Democracies: Lessons from Contemporary Chile and Spain

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Discusses Spain under the Socialist government of Felipe González and post‐Pinochet Chile under the Concertación as potential “social democratic” models, embodying what many view as a successful combination of market reforms with social equity and societal participation worthy of emulation by Latin America as a whole. The author finds significant limitations in the degree of popular‐sector participation in decision‐making (as seen through governments’ distancing and combative postures towards allied unions) and in the extent of re‐distributive social reforms under post‐transition center–left governments in both countries. The predominance of logic of market‐oriented reforms, economic and political stability, and of insulation from pressures from below acted to undercut the reformist ethos of both national governments, leaving them well short of social democratic ideals. At the same time, the González and Concertación governments helped consolidate formal electoral democracies in their countries that continue to be marred by a major weakness on the participation and equity fronts.

Keywords: civil society participation; democratic consolidation; democratic transition; labour unions; market reforms; (left) political parties; social democracy; social policy

Chapter.  11266 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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