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Johns Hopkins University

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Chile: Political Systems and Economic Development

Abstract

This investigation studies the political right in Chile and how they see their role within the student movement of 2011. One of the most relevant topics in current Chilean politics, the student movement has organized, over the course of the past nine months, a series of strikes, protests and demonstrations, rallying at certain times over 100,000 people. The students are demanding change to the structure of the higher education system, a system established during the 1980’s under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and largely influenced by the neoliberal model of Milton Freidman and the “Chicago boys.” This movement has lead many leftist political parties to back the students and in some cases actively participate. In contrast, apart from making various public statements, the right in Chile has not organized themselves or participated as an active entity.

This text is based on information gathered from primary sources, academic works, news articles, observation and finally, interviews. The work analyses what is considered to be the “new right” in Chile post-Pinochet, mentioning the ideological basics of this school of thought. The text then describes the details of the educational reforms and the reactions such reforms have provoked. Finally, in the ultimate part of this work, the role of the right is analysed. The text ultimately reaches the conclusion that, within this context of turmoil and protest, the right does not identify themselves as having a specific or unique role. This perception comes from characteristics of the movement itself as well as the characteristics of education as a policy. Ultimately, this investigation finds that the right’s hesitance to renounce this movement or participate actively against it comes from the fact that while the details of the desired policy changes go against conservative ideology, the personal (individual) implications of education as a right make this movement something no one can discredit.

Disciplines

Education Policy | Inequality and Stratification | International and Comparative Education | Politics and Social Change | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

 

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