Legitimacy crisis and the constitutional problemin Chile: A legacy of authoritarianism
Three decades after the peak of academic debates on the transition to democracy in Latin America, political science literature has turned to the study of democratic consolidation and the quality of democracy (Daucé & Peruzzotti, 2010). The cultural, political and institutional legacies of authoritarianism played an important role in explaining the emergence of delegative models of democracy in the region (O'Donnell, 1994). These models were capable of eroding liberal features, understood as respect for institutional procedures, checks and balances and the rule of law – mechanism sof horizontal accountability – in the name of a vertical, majoritarian authority. In this context, it would be mistaken to consider Chile immune to this threat, particularly in view of the increasing social disaffection with institutions. The country shows a “frozen” political structure: parties and politicians are roughly the same as in the pre-1973 military coup period. But political apathy and electoral abstention have grown exponentially, leading to a party system increasingly detached from its social roots and prone to anti-political, populist temptations.
Heiss C., Legitimacy crisis and the constitutional problem in Chile: A legacy of authoritarianism. Constellations. 2017;24:470–479.