Business Leaders and Democracy’s Limits
Entrepreneurial leaders in Chile came to play an authoritative political role during the country’s transition. This role appears to be a paradox at first glance, since business leaders were not active supporters of parliamentary democracy. However, the question as to which are the decisive social forces in pushing through a democratic regime is quite different from the problem of who become decisive in shaping it. In the first place, the specific modalities of the Chilean type of transition, its pacted nature and the opposition to democracy of key elites,1 makes it possible that weaker actors will refrain from pressing their interests for fear of reversing the process. On the other hand, stronger actors may try to use pact-making to institutionalize the exclusion of large spheres of economic governance from the public domain. These positions describe the situations of union and entrepreneurial leaders in Chile.
KeywordsLabour Relation Industrial Relation Open Sector Business Leader Political Democracy
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