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Elite–Mass Congruence in Chile

  • Peter M. Siavelis
Chapter

Abstract

Chile is often lauded for its successful democratic transition and high-quality democracy. Nonetheless, increasingly the country’s traditional image as Latin America’s democratic poster child is being replaced by one of protest, conflict and corruption, suggesting for some that the country is experiencing a crisis of democracy. Student protests that began in 2006 have become a permanent fixture. Chile, long assumed to be among the cleanest countries in Latin America, now makes headlines with the emergence of scandal after scandal. There are increasing levels of citizen dissatisfaction with the functioning and quality of democracy in the country. Only 48.2 % of Chileans are bastante or muy satisfecho with democracy. Further, after more than two and a half decades of democracy, only 54 % think in all cases democracy is the best regime, and the number who think so has actually decreased since peaking after the return of democracy (UDP-IDRC 2014). Indeed, 22.7 % contended that in some circumstances an authoritarian regime is preferable and 14.7 % said it really did not matter. Though Chile is lauded by academics and analysts as a high-quality democracy, on several key indicators of mass public opinion other Latin American countries rank significantly higher, and some of Chile’s indicators are disturbing. For example, long known for high level of citizen identification with parties, Chile now ranks 25th out of 26 countries in levels of party identification, trailed only by Guatemala (LAPOP 2012; UDP-IDRC 2014).

Keywords

Political Party Authoritarian Regime Party Identification Military Regime Social Provision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter M. Siavelis
    • 1
  1. 1.Wake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

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