CHILE: Democracy and the Chilean Miracle


Manuel Castells explores development success in Chile through the theoretical lens of the "democratic liberal inclusive model."

How can Latin American countries articulate economic growth, social development, and democracy in a sustainable model of development? How can this goal be achieved in the context of the growing integration of global markets and increased interdependency among nations? With these questions, Manuel Castells opened his recent talk for the Center for Latin American Studies. The model elaborated by Chile, he argued, has emerged as the most viable — indeed, the only viable — response to these challenges in Latin America. Yet contrary to the standard view, which has framed the “Chilean Miracle” as a triumph of the neoliberal economic policies and reforms fi rst implemented under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–90), Professor Castells offered an alternative explanation of Chile’s success: the 17 years of measured state intervention and social redistribution, comparable to Roosevelt’s New Deal, that elected governments have pursued since Chile’s return to democracy in 1990.

Bryce Breslin
Publication date: 
August 21, 2007
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article