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Marketing Democracy

Power and Social Movements in Post-Dictatorship Chile

Julia Paley (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 273 pages
ISBN: 9780520227682
April 2001
$31.95, £27.00
Amid protests against the Pinochet regime, a group of población(shantytown) residents came together in 1984 to challenge poor health care in their community and to denounce military rule. How did their organization respond seven years later when Chile's transition to democracy brought an end to dictatorship but no clear solution to ongoing health problems? Marketing Democracy shows how the exercise of power and the strategies of social movements transformed with the transition from a military to an elected-civilian regime in Chile. The term "marketing democracy" refers first to how contemporary democracies are shaped by transnational market forces, and second to how politicians have promoted democracy with the twin goals of attracting foreign capital and diminishing social movements.
List of Illustrations
La Bandera in the Social Imaginary

PART ONE: History of Collective Action
1. The Founding of the Población
2. Military Rule
3. Transition to Democracy

PART TWO: Ethnography of Democracy
4. Marketing Democracy
5. The Paradox of Participation
6. Legitimation of Knowledge

Appendix. Health Group's Ethnography
Julia Paley is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.
"This will be an important book, and a powerful exemplar for the growing numbers of anthropologists who seek to place such things as democracy, citizenship, and neoliberalism under an ethnographic lens."—James Ferguson, author of Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambin Copperbelt

"In joining activism and fine ethnography, Paley enables us to appreciate the profound complexity of the links between civil society and public institutions. Chakrabarty's assessment of "the undemocratic foundations of 'democracy'" becomes a fine analytic tool as it is refracted in the words of the women of Población La Bandera."—Charles Briggs, author of Learning How to Ask

"Paley has produced an insightful and fascinating exploration of the shifting meanings of democracy for the Chilean state and for shantytown activists across the Pinochet dictatorship and through the contradictory democratic politics of the 1990s. The marketing of democracy is a highly relevant issue for societies and states throughout the world."—Kay Warren, author of Indigenous Movements and Their Critics: Pan-Maya Activism in Guatemala

"An important challenge to Polyanna conventional wisdoms about democratic transitions and neo-liberal miracles in Chile and its neighbors."—Peter Winn, author of Weavers of Revolution

"This is anthropology as the observation of and involvement in, the new, participatory politics of the previously excluded."—Sally Falk Moore, author of Law as Process

2001 Sharon Stephens Prize for best first book by a junior scholar, American Ethnological Society

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