Conceptual implications of Peru’s recent charm offensive in Chile: societal-level engagement driving a shift in bilateral relations?

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From 2008 to 2013, Peru and Chile were entangled in a maritime dispute presented and argued at the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ). While the most visible stages of the case at the ICJ took place during 2012/2013 and ended with a favourable judgment towards Peru’s arguments, both countries became increasingly amicable in several other areas of common interest. Moreover, lately both countries have become much more economically interdependent on one another, which can partially explicate a constructive approach towards improving relations. This paper will present evidence that potentially explains change in rival relationships utilizing theoretical frameworks that relate to nation branding and to public diplomacy. Furthermore, it argues that societal-level engagement via the Peruvian diaspora arguably contributed to the improvement in Peruvian–Chilean relations. By means of interviews with relevant agents and analysis of media and secondary data, it will describe how Chilean society became receptive to Peru’s charm offensive.

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  1. 1.

    From Encyclopedia Britannica Online: In “Spanish Guerra del Pacífico, (1879–1883), [was a] conflict involving Chile, Bolivia, and Peru, which resulted in Chilean annexation of valuable disputed territory on the Pacific coast. It grew out of a dispute between Chile and Bolivia over control of a part of the Atacama Desert that lies between the 23rd and 26th parallels on the Pacific coast of South America.” Source:, accessed on February 14, 2017.

  2. 2.

    This adjacent land was denominated colloquially as the land triangle (triángulo terrestre), since this portion of the Pacific Ocean, which Peru claimed and won is shaped much like a triangle as well.

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    As of late, Anholt’s recent work has sought to bridge CI and PD in a more balanced manner. Furthermore, he has presented a new concept entitled the Good Country Index, which aligns much more coherently with issues of global governance and arguably is closer to PD than CI.

  4. 4.

    Part of the public diplomacy conceptual discussion of this text is part of the author’s doctoral dissertation proposal.

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    Some analyses estimate 250,000 Peruvians residing in Chile, the report entitled "Informe del Observatorio Iberoamericano sobre Movilidad Humana, Migraciones y Desarrollo (Obimid) June–August, 2016. La Migración en Chile: Breve reporte y caracterización". provides the estimate used in the paper. See:

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    See more at

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    Chile's International Economic and Trade Department provides statistical data via reports on Chile's FDI.

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    Such as student exchange scholarships, namely the Beca Alianza del Pacífico, for university students from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

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    The survey was conducted by the Universidad Bernardo O'Higgins (Chile) and Universidad Norbert Wiener (Peru) in Santiago and in Lima with about 1000 surveyed in both countries' capital cities.

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    Interview conducted in Santiago, Chile on October 17, 2016.

  13. 13.

    Per interview with Chef Carlo von Muhlenbrock, via email, December 2, 2016.

  14. 14.

    Interviewed via email, food critic Daniel Greve replied on December 6, 2016.

  15. 15.

    An echo chamber is a concept that explains the consumption of media content that aligns with your views, and consequently those individuals rarely expose themselves to news that might be contrary to them.

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    A social media analysis concept that describes how those users who hold a prominent role in the platform can influence discussion topics and eventually alter the opinions of other users (or really provide an opinion/viewpoint for the uninformed).


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Correspondence to Daniel Aguirre.

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Aguirre, D. Conceptual implications of Peru’s recent charm offensive in Chile: societal-level engagement driving a shift in bilateral relations?. Place Brand Public Dipl 16, 121–130 (2020).

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  • Public diplomacy
  • Peru
  • Chile
  • Media
  • Migration
  • Diaspora