Highly Institutionalized Party System

Gustavo Flores-Macías

in After Neoliberalism?

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199891658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933402 | DOI:
Highly Institutionalized Party System

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Chapter 6 argues that the highly institutionalized party system was crucial in accounting for the pro-market economic policies of Ricardo Lagos’s leftist government in Chile. It finds that moderate reforms in that country are the consequence of both the temperance instilled in the candidates through the process of accommodation and consensus-building in party politics, as well as the ability of the different forces represented in Congress to shape and moderate economic policy. Drawing on evidence from such initiatives as labor and tax reforms, this chapter shows how these proposed changes were watered down to be acceptable to a working majority in the legislature. Furthermore, Chile’s solid economic performance and deep neoliberal reforms discouraged any drastic changes to the model inherited from the military dictatorship. Other factors, including executive powers, natural resources, and organized labor do not play a significant role in explaining Chile’s general adherence to pro-market policies.

Keywords: Chile; Ricardo Lagos; party system; economic reforms; labor reform; tax reform; depth of neoliberalism; economic conditions; market orthodoxy; consensus-building; dictatorship

Chapter.  9275 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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