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Race and the Chilean Miracle

Race and the Chilean Miracle: Neoliberalism, Democracy, and Indigenous Rights

PATRICIA RICHARDS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zw936
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    Race and the Chilean Miracle
    Book Description:

    The economic reforms imposed by Augusto Pinochet's regime (1973-1990) are often credited with transforming Chile into a global economy and setting the stage for a peaceful transition to democracy, individual liberty, and the recognition of cultural diversity. The famed economist Milton Friedman would later describe the transition as the "Miracle of Chile." Yet, as Patricia Richards reveals, beneath this veneer of progress lies a reality of social conflict and inequity that has been perpetuated by many of the same neoliberal programs.InRace and the Chilean Miracle,Richards examines conflicts between Mapuche indigenous people and state and private actors over natural resources, territorial claims, and collective rights in the Araucanía region. Through ground-level fieldwork, extensive interviews with local Mapuche and Chileans, and analysis of contemporary race and governance theory, Richards exposes the ways that local, regional, and transnational realities are shaped by systemic racism in the context of neoliberal multiculturalism..Richards demonstrates how state programs and policies run counter to Mapuche claims for autonomy and cultural recognition. The Mapuche, whose ancestral lands have been appropriated for timber and farming, have been branded as terrorists for their activism and sometimes-violent responses to state and private sector interventions. Through their interviews, many Mapuche cite the perpetuation of colonialism under the guise of development projects, multicultural policies, and assimilationist narratives. Many Chilean locals and political elites see the continued defiance of the Mapuche in their tenacious connection to the land, resistance to integration, and insistence on their rights as a people. These diametrically opposed worldviews form the basis of the racial dichotomy that continues to pervade Chilean society.In her study, Richards traces systemic racism that follows both a top-down path (global, state, and regional) as well as a bottom-up one (local agencies and actors), detailing their historic roots. Richards also describes potential positive outcomes in the form of intercultural coalitions or indigenous autonomy. Her compelling analysis offers new perspectives on indigenous rights, race, and neoliberal multiculturalism in Latin America and globally.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7867-1
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. CHAPTER 1 RACE AND THE CHILEAN MIRACLE
    (pp. 1-32)

    Chile is often portrayed as a successful example of a peaceful transition to democracy sustained by high rates of economic growth. Enthusiasts refer to a “Chilean Miracle,” the notion that free-market reforms imposed during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973–90) put the country on the road to development and stability. They cite Chile as a success story, a model for other countries to follow. This picture, although true in some respects, conceals a more complex reality of social inequality and conflict brought about in part by the very political and economic models implemented by Pinochet and later perpetuated by the center-left...

  2. CHAPTER 2 CONTESTED MEMORIES, SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE, AND THE HISTORY OF THE ARAUCANÍA
    (pp. 33-69)

    History and memory alike are socially constructed. As Barry Schwartz (2007, 588) has defined it, “collective memory refers to the distribution throughout society of beliefs, feelings, moral judgments, and knowledge about the past.” We say memory is socially constructed because, as Schwartz points out, while individuals may hold beliefs or draw judgments about the past, “they do not know (it) singly; they know it with and against other individuals situated in conflicting groups” (ibid.). Thus there is never complete consensus in collective memory. Memory is contentious, informed by social, political, economic, and cultural context and shaped by power and inequality...

  3. CHAPTER 3 NEOLIBERALISM AND THE CONFLICTS UNDER THE CONCERTACIÓN
    (pp. 70-100)

    Neoliberal economic policies extended upon the legacy of racism and inequality to create a situation in which conflicts over land, resources, and indigenous rights thrived throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. This chapter examines these neoliberal roots as well as how Mapuche and local elites explained the conflicts, paying special attention to how the concepts of law and legitimacy inform these differing explanations. I make two interrelated arguments. First, the conflicts exemplify how, vis-à-vis the Mapuche, neoliberal policies—as the foundation of Chilean national development—represent the continuity of the colonial condition. Second, the distinct ways Mapuche and local elites...

  4. CHAPTER 4 CONSTRUCTING NEOLIBERAL MULTICULTURALISM IN CHILE
    (pp. 101-133)

    The Concertación responded to the conflicts with a dual approach. On the one hand, it created programs and policies that responded positively to Mapuche demands that could be construed as related to development or diversity. On the other, it harshly penalized Mapuche actions that favored principles of autonomy, self-governance, and territorial control. This policy response coheres to some degree—although it also diverges in important ways—with what other scholars of indigenous politics in Latin America have dubbed “neoliberal multiculturalism” (Hale 2002, 2004, 2006; Horton 2006; Laurie, Andolina, and Radcliffe 2003; Postero 2004, 2007). Throughout Latin America the shift toward...

  5. CHAPTER 5 LOCAL ELITES CONFRONT MULTICULTURALISM
    (pp. 134-168)

    How did the Chilean public construct the Mapuche in the context of the conflicts? Large-scale surveys give contradictory impressions. While some surveys conducted in major cities (all outside the conflict zone) indicated endorsement of Mapuche claims (IDEP 2003), others showed support for use of stronger tactics against Mapuche activists (Libertad y Desarrollo in La Tercera 2002). One study examining attitudes in ancestral Mapuche territory showed many Chileans there harbored beliefs that the Mapuche were lazy, violent, drunk, uncivilized, and primitive (Merino et al. 2004). Rejection of the Mapuche was not monolithic, of course, but negative attitudes about Mapuche claims prevailed,...

  6. CHAPTER 6 AUTONOMY, INTERCULTURALITY, AND A MORE INCLUSIVE FUTURE
    (pp. 169-207)

    In the 1970s and 1980s many Mapuche were active in the sociopolitical struggle to reinstate democracy in Chile. Like their Chilean counterparts, they anticipated that life under democracy would be an improvement over the brutal Pinochet dictatorship. Chileans and Mapuche alike hoped that under democracy the grip of neoliberalism would loosen, their participation would be solicited, and their opinions heard. Nearly two decades after the dictatorship ended, however, many expressed dissatisfaction with the substance of democratic citizenship. But in addition to the social and economic disappointments they shared with other sectors of the Chilean population, many Mapuche communities continued to...

  7. CHAPTER 7 SYSTEMIC RACISM, SUBJECTIVITIES, AND SHARED FUTURES
    (pp. 208-226)

    In March 2011, as popular struggles erupted across the Middle East, U.S. president Barack Obama visited Chile. “At a time when people around the world are reaching for their freedoms,” he observed, “Chile shows that, yes, it is possible to transition from dictatorship to democracy, and to do so peacefully” (“Obama in Chile” 2011). The strength of this transition—the so-called Chilean Miracle—frequently has been attributed to the neoliberal model instituted by the dictatorship and left in place by the Concertación governments. In this book I have sought to trouble the association between neoliberalism and the strength of democracy...