Chile – from Pinochet’s neoliberal counter-revolution to the 2019-20 anti-neoliberal revolt

Duran-Palma, F. and Urrutia, M. 2023. Chile – from Pinochet’s neoliberal counter-revolution to the 2019-20 anti-neoliberal revolt. in: Atzeni, M., Mezzardi, A., Moore, P. and Apitzsch, U. (ed.) Research Handbook on the Global Political Economy of Work Edward Elgar.

Chapter titleChile – from Pinochet’s neoliberal counter-revolution to the 2019-20 anti-neoliberal revolt
AuthorsDuran-Palma, F. and Urrutia, M.
EditorsAtzeni, M., Mezzardi, A., Moore, P. and Apitzsch, U.
Abstract

Over the last four decades, Chile has experienced the longest economic expansion in its history but simultaneously suffered the persistence of high levels of inequality, precarity and social exclusion. Mainstream interpretations of this apparent good news–bad news paradox, that is, removed from a consideration of the broader political economy which produces it and reproduces it, typically point to an alleged ‘failure’ of the neoliberal model to deliver growth with equity. In contrast, this chapter argues that this supposed paradox demonstrates the ‘success’ of Chile’s neoliberal model to deliver growth at the expense of equity, clear evidence of which is provided by industrial relations institutions deliberately designed to re-commodify and discipline labour by undermining its structural and associational power. That workers and their representative organisations have been severely weakened as a result, a fact typically construed by ‘workerless’ post-industrial perspectives as evidence of a predictable and inevitable decline in worker collectivism, does not mean that they have become ineffectual social actors. On the contrary, this chapter contends that working classes have played a significant role in building organised resistance against neoliberalism since the early 1980s, through a combination of rising labour militancy and social conflict, of which ‘rupturist’ forms of unionism by precarious workers, and broader ‘Polanyian’ struggles with an important proletarian component, have been of special significance (after Silver, 2003).

KeywordsChile
neoliberalism
precarity
precarious workers
trade unionism
labour movement
Book titleResearch Handbook on the Global Political Economy of Work
Year2023
PublisherEdward Elgar
Publication dates
Published24 Oct 2023
ISBN9781839106576
9781839106583
9781839106538
ProjectVarieties of collective action of atypical and precarious workers in Latin America
FunderUniversity of Westminster
File

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