POLICY METAPHORS AND DEEP LOCAL DEMOCRACY: THE CASE OF THE CHILEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD RECOVERY PROGRAMME

RIEM, 2017

The Neighbourhood Recovery Programme is the first government urban regeneration programme implemented in Chilean underprivileged urban areas using deliberative processes. Through interviews with key policymakers and the revision of government documents, this article explores the cognitive metaphors by which this programme frames its local construction of sociability. In so doing, this research examines the programme’s potential to build a deep conception of local democracy. The article contributes to debates discussing the effect of the Chilean state in enhancing or curtailing civil society empowerment in politically excluded areas. It argues that this programme’s metaphors serve efficient policy implementation. However, they also reproduce top-down dynamics of institutional imposition that undermine accountability and have already been described by ethnographers in underprivileged neighbourhoods.

POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY IN LATIN AMERICA

Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, 2017

Political sociology is far from enjoying a fixed, univocal definition. Not only are political sociologists using the most varied approaches in their analyses, but also they often outline the field with very diffuse boundaries. In broad terms, however, political sociology should be understood as “the social bases of politics.” Social movements, democracy, elite circulation, and clientelism have been fields of study traditionally. This chapter provides an overview of how political sociologists have explained Latin American societies. The chapter looks at how social factors influence political developments in the region through three traditional fields within political sociology: elite circulation, political clientelism, and social movements. In each one of these fields the chapter begins by addressing how traditional political sociologists have understood the region. Then, it explains how new perspectives of political sociology have addressed each of those fields of study. This general analysis on the political sociology of Latin America unveils the dynamics by which inequality and exclusion undermine democracy.

POLITICISATION AND SOCIAL MOBILISATION IN TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY CHILE

Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, 2017

This chapter looks at current Chilean politicization and social mobilization. Questioning the traditional divide between authorities and social movements, a set of publications devoted to this issue in Latin America has explained grassroots collective action as a co-construction between movements and political institutions. Political phenomena in Latin America hardly function in isolation, these scholars argue. Instead, they suggest that political processes interconnect to produce outcomes that may or may not be democratic. Tarlau (2013) has studied, for example, how the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil co-produces activism with political parties in rural schools through clientelism. By showing how Chilean social movements have increasingly detached from political institutions, this chapter will outline the Chilean case as a regional exception. In fact, often, disengagement from institutional politics among Chilean social movements has proven more effective in effecting policy change.

RECLAIMING THE RIGHT TO THE CITY: POPULAR URBAN  MOBILISATION IN CHILE

Global Dialogue, 2015

Despite a long history of social mobilization, since 1990 Chile’s urban poor have often been portrayed as passive political actors suffering from segregation and social illnesses. Based on my research in the borough of Peñalolén in Santiago, however, I argue that in some cases at least, the urban poor have been able to organize sustainable resistance, re-claiming their right to the city.

MOBILISATIONAL CITIZENSHIP: SUSTAINABLE COLLECTIVE ACTION IN UNDERPRIVILEGED URBAN CHILE

Citizenship Studies, 2018

While academics have addressed the interaction between mobilisation and citizenship in a myriad of ways, none of them have used citizenship to explain the sustainability of collective action. Drawing on an ethnographic fieldwork in Santiago de Chile’s underprivileged neighbourhoods, this paper provides an analytical framework explaining how neighbourhood activists sustain mobilisation on the basis of citizenship construction despite Chile’s transitional and post-transitional stark political exclusion. This article calls this concept ‘mobilisational citizenship’. Building on the notion of rights-claiming, mobilisational citizenship explains how durable mobilisation results from the dynamic interaction between four factors: agentic memory, mobilising belonging, mobilising boundaries and decentralised protagonism. Through mobilisational citizenship, local residents politicise their neighbourhood, build autonomous local empowerment and self-define their political incorporation.

BARRERAS PARA LA ORGANIZACIÓN POPULAR EN EL CHILE DEMOCRÁTICO

Estudio Corto ICHEM, 2019 (junto a Camila Galaz)

Un conjunto de iniciativas ha contribuido al empoderamiento de los sectores populares en la última década. Sin embargo, entre las organizaciones populares e incluso en la academia, existe el consenso de que, en términos más generales, los sectores populares chilenos se despolitizaron después de la transición democrática. Este Estudio Corto del Instituto Chileno de Estudios Municipales de la Universidad Autónoma de Chile, ICHEM, propone un esquema general de las barreras descritas por la literatura académica para la politización y empoderamiento de los sectores populares urbanos en Chile. Nuestra idea es que este estudio sea una herramienta para que más organizaciones populares contribuyan a profundizar la democracia local a través de acción colectiva, autonomía, y demandas de responsabilidad política a autoridades (rendición de cuentas).

WHEN MOVEMENTS BECOME PARTIES: THE BOLIVIAN MAS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE (Book Review)

American Journal of Sociology, 2020

In this book, Santiago Anria refers to those parties created by social movement activists, movement-based parties. These parties promote distinct bottom-up organizational dynamics because activists combine extra-institutional collective action—like demonstrations—with electoral competition. When in office, movement-based parties can use the state to incorporate new actors and address previously neglected demands. Anria’s argument is that the MAS has, at least partially, resisted the oligarchic pattern of party development often described by political analysts. Fundamentally, Anria suggests, the MAS provides the real-life proof that parties in government can use bottom-up input to constrain their leaders’ strategic decisions and limit power concentration. The result is parties that promote a more equitable, bottom-up power structure.

Dr. Simón Escoffier

Instituto Chileno de Estudios Municipales

1973 Galvarino Gallardo

Providencia, Santiago, Chile

sescoffier@ichem.cl / sescoffier@uc.cl