The Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAS) is an Organized Reserach Unit at the University of California, San Diego. CILAS emphasizes interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to research on Latin America (plus the Iberian peninsula). CILAS regularly hosts visiting scholars from Asia, Europe, and South America, and sponsors an annual grant competition for UCSD graduate students as well.
The essay addresses the question of labor market reform and union responses to market-oriented structural adjustment programs in two small open economies in the Southern Hemisphere. The leading questions are whether ideological militancy and unity or other factors matter when it comes to the labor movement’s ability to confront the challenges of market-oriented reform projects undertaken by new and well established democratic regimes. Political regime change and the history of interest group intermediation systems and labor market dynamics before and after the shift from state to market-oriented economies are reviewed in order to evaluate the data pertinent to each case. We conclude with some general comparisons and an argument in favor of the institutions and ideology thesis.
From 1997 to 2001, the Chilean government enacted laws to transform its criminal justice system from one using a closed and secretive inquisitorial-type process to one employing a more open and transparent adversarial process. These criminal procedure reforms significantly changed the roles of lower court judges, prosecutors and public defenders and provided defendants and victims with broader individual rights. Despite its commitment to criminal law reforms, during the implementation period of these reforms, the government remained lackluster in its commitment to a more open and transparent justice system when it related to more politicized cases. During the criminal law reform implementation process, the government was hesitant to prosecute high-level Pinochet-era officials while adamant about prosecuting individuals who criticized the judiciary. Not until the government had significantly improved the lower level criminal procedures was there a change in the way that the government dealt with the prosecution of high-level officials under the Pinochet regime and with individuals criticizing the judiciary itself. This paper explores the connection between the government’s commitment to lower level criminal law reforms and its policy switch in dealing with more politicized cases.