Monday, September 13, 2010

The Chilean transition ends yet again

I just published an edited volume on Chile, and my chapter* focuses on the idea of "transition" in Chilean politics, focusing on civil-military relations (I plan on getting a PDF of it on my academic website soon).  Since Patricio Aylwin, presidents have wanted to declare the transition over for political reasons, but this creates conflict with other groups (such as both human rights organizations and the military itself) who are concerned that such a declaration will had adverse consequences.

Now El Mercurio reports that Sebastián Piñera will give a speech at the UN in which he will say the Chilean transition is over.

En la Asamblea General, en cambio, su intervención de 15 minutos tendrá un cariz más político. Si bien Cancillería y Presidencia aún trabajan en los contenidos del discurso, en el ministerio anticipan que abordará el concepto de que la llegada al poder del primer gobierno de centroderecha tras 20 años de Concertación marca el fin de la transición en el país.

In the chapter, I discuss all the many various ways in which "transition" has been defined.  This is a new one, because of course it was not possible until this year.  I will be curious to hear the response from human rights advocates, who are greatly concerned that such a declaration symbolizes "moving forward" and ending human rights trials related to the dictatorship.

*Gregory Weeks, "The Transition is Dead, Long Live the Transition: Civil-Military Relations and the Limits of Consensus."  In Silvia Borzutzky and Gregory B. Weeks (eds.). The Bachelet Government: Conflict and Consensus in Post-Pinochet Chile (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2010): 67-84.


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