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Colombia Internacional

Print version ISSN 0121-5612


ROVIRA KALTWASSER, Cristóbal. The Programmatic (Over)adaptation of the Chilean Right and the Irruption of the Radical Populist Right. [online]. 2019, n.99, pp.29-61. ISSN 0121-5612.


This article offers an analysis of the evolution of the Chilean right from the transition to democracy to the present day. It aims to show that programmatic moderation has not only allowed the right to become more competitive in electoral terms, but has also orphaned a sector of the electorate and, therefore, made it highly probable that this political faction will split into two poles: one liberal-progressive and one populist-conservative.


The research involved a descriptive analysis of data from the World Values Survey, revealing the evolution of Chilean public opinion toward issues normally defended by the right, and of the “Manifesto Project,” in order to trace the variation over time of the positions defended by the Chilean right in their electoral campaigns.


This article concludes that the great future challenge of the Chilean center-right will be how to handle internal tensions that, if not adequately channeled, can unleash a political fragmentation that gives rise to a period of greater electoral uncertainty.


This article seeks to fill the gap that exists in the academic literature on the evolution of the post-transition Chilean right. At the same time, it posits that a space has opened for new types of government coalitions in Chile, either between radical populist forces and conventional parties or between conventional parties that historically have been reluctant to establish electoral alliances.

Keywords : Right; populism; conservatism; political competition; Chile..

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