Post-authoritarian and Democratic Neoliberalism: Chile and New Zealand in the Wake of Global Discontent

Paula Andrea Pereda Perez, Christopher Allan Howard


This article traces the neoliberal trajectories of two Pacific Rim countries, Chile and New Zealand. In Chile, neoliberal policies were introduced in 1974 under a totalitarian military regime. By contrast, in New Zealand these were implemented by a democratically elected Labour Government in 1984. Although in both cases the radical implementation of neoliberal policies has led to growing inequality and job insecurity, the two societies differ dramatically in their contemporary responses to neoliberalism. Large-scale social movements and protests against the neoliberal ‘model’ have been having a systemic impact on Chile since 2011, while the majority of New Zealanders continue to demonstrate their support of neoliberal policies under the centre right National Government, now in its third term. Whether neoliberalism was implemented under democratic or authoritarian governments, we argue, is central to understanding its contemporary support and legitimacy in the Pacific Rim and beyond.


neoliberalism; democracy; authoritarianism; social movements; Chile; New Zealand

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