POSTPONED: Social Protests and Chile's New Constitution


Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 12:00pm


CGIS South, S250, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Peter Siavelis, Interim Chair and Professor, Department of Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University

Moderator: Frances Hagopian, Jorge Paulo Lemann Senior Lecturer on Government

The most significant, violent, and deadly protests since the end of the Pinochet era exploded in Chile on October 20, after several years of simmering protests and social discontent. The protests, accompanied by looting, attacks on property and infrastructure, and 23 deaths, represented a turning point in Chilean politics. Widely billed in the press as sparked by opposition to increased transport fees, this social mobilization represents a much wider demand for a fundamental rewriting of Chile’s prevailing social contract. Ultimately the government agreed to a referendum on a new constitution that will replace the 1980 Pinochet Constitution that currently governs Chile. The talk will focus on the protests, their aftermath and scenarios for constitutional reform and its impact.

Peter M. Siavelis is Professor and Chair in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Wake University where he is also the Associate Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies program. He received his PhD from Georgetown University. He has researched and published widely on many aspects of Latin American and Chilean politics including candidate selection, presidencies and informal institutions. His most recent edited book is Democratic Chile: The Politics and Policies of a Historic Coalition (with Kirsten Sehnbruch) and he has published in journals including Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Latin American Research Review.