Youth activism in Chile - Why do Chilean youth choose open street protests as their common method of political expression?

Essay, 2007

30 Pages, Grade: 1,0 (A)

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Who are Chile’s youth?

Evidence about political participation of today’s youth
Participation in elections
Participation in other politcal and local organizations
Popular protest

Explanations for the different patterns of participation
Sources of grievances and demands
Contextual factors shaping responses to grievances
The perception of institutions
The electoral system
Youth policies
The socio-economic environment
The role of history
The role of societal changes
The perception of youth in society
The characteristics of the youth

Impact on democratic consolidation & conclusion

Books & Papers
Surveys and Action Plans
Multilateral Organizations
Internet pages



This paper explores the reasons why Chilean youth refer to popular protest in order to voice their interests. It finds that the youths, as one of the most vulnerable parts of society, suffer a deep perception of social injustice and exclusion. At the same time they reject political institutions which they consider unable to respond to their demands. Therefore, triggered by the culture of resistence which had developed under the dictatorship, the increasing generational clash resulting from societal changes and their persistent marginalization, street protests and other informal means have replaced formal ways of politcal expression.


According to estimations of the United Nations, about half of the world’s population is younger than 25.[1] Youths therefore represent a significant portion of the world’s population. But apart from their numerical significance, youths, and especially students, have historically played an important political role in domestic and international politics through long tradition of political concern and activity. They have even been credited with playing crucial roles in national revolutions.[2]

In Latin America, the university reform movement of Córdoba in 1918 paved the way for strong youth activism during the rest of the century. Since then, a high number of Latin American countries has witnessed the overthrow of their governments through the means of massive student protests. Although patterns of activism have certainly evolved over time, this basic principle holds true until nowadays. Recent student protests in Venezuela during November 2007 helped create perhaps the strongest opposition against President Chavez’s proposed constitutional reforms. Due to the overwhelming historic experience of political regimes being threatened or even toppled by youth protests, it becomes clear that political leaders would do well not only to listen to the demands voiced during youth protest movements but also to understand their dynamics.[3]

Why Chile? Since its transition from authoritarian rule in 1990, Chile has shown continued economic progress and proven political stability, thus often being praised as a role model for development and democratic consolidation on the continent. However, decreasing participation in elections, especially among the country’s youths, has called public and academic attention[4] questioning the quality of democracy. At the same time, and although not less striking, the frequency of (violent) demonstrations in recent years has almost been ignored. Formal participation seems to be replaced by social protest. This has started to undermine the integrity of the society and could endanger the political stability of the country.

The present paper argues that both patterns are closely linked and must be analyized together. Aiming to explain why street protests have become a common means of expression, it derives the sources of the youth’s discontent and analizes the factors discouraging fomal participation on the the one side and encouraging protest movements on the other.

Who are Chile’s youth?

Chile defines its youth as the group of persons aged between 15 and 29 years.[5] Far from being homogenous, the young generation can usually be better understood in the context of its educational characteristics, which spans from high school through higher education and even include those that have officially integrated in the labor market, either directly after high school or after otherwise finishing their corresponding educational trajectory.

In Chile, as in most parts of the world, the role of youth in society is minimal and their particular needs are generally neglected. It appears that young people are to society what women were 30 years ago: invisible, unacknowledged, under-supported and thus contributing a small fraction of what they could contribute to the effort to make constructive change.[6] However, as an important part of the population, their integration into political processes represents an indispensable condition for a country to consider itself democratic.

Evidence about political participation of today’s youth

Participation in elections

Chile’s electoral system is characterized by a combination of voluntary registration and compulsory vote. This is important, as the relevent stage for electoral participation shifts from the vote itself to the act of registration. Knowing that, the pattern of youth participation has become critical. Indeed, whereas in 1988, during the first elections since 1973 (plebiscite), 90,7% of all youth in voting age (18-29) were registered, this number has plummeted to 26,4% in 2005. Therefore, while the young generation accounted for 36% of all registered voters in 1988, it came down to 9,7% in 2005 and 8,5% in 2006, far from representing its populational weight in society.[7] Even acknowledging the extraordinary high levels in the late 1980s due to the historical referendum which mobilized the entire population, this fall in participation is significant. The situation gets even worse when considering abstention as well as blank and invalid votes which have significantly risen over the years, diminishing the few registered young voters by another 20 to 30 per cent.[8] This phenomenon has been repeatedly described as the “desafección política de la juventud chilena” and has become a serious concern.[9] However, these figures should be put into the national context. Indeed, not only the youths fail to participate, but also the adult population proves increasingly disillusioned with politics, as expressed by the higher number of abstention, blank and invalid vote.[10]

Participation in other politcal and local organizations

Only limited information is available about the magnitude and changes of youth participation within the different types of organizations directly trying to represent their interests and shape politcal outcomes (the most influential being politcal parties, youth councils and student associations).[11] Concerning party participation it can be said that each of the main political parties has its own youth branch[12] aiming at fostering the youth perspective within the party and the party ideology towards the outside. In respect to youth councils, their creation on a local and regional level has been promoted by the National Youth Plan in 2004 allowing a higher number of youths to get involved and take part in politics. Also, student associations have played a constantly important role in representing student’s interests within the university and broaderly in public.

In Chile, basically every university and every academic branch within them has its own student association representing the voice of the student body and often being the steering factor behind mobilizations. However, despite direct participation in these (and other) commitees or organizations, the number of actually involved persons compared to the whole young population appears very limited. Several surveys indicate that participation in these types of organizations is well under 10%.[13] This relatively low participation in political bodies, however, does not mean a low degree of involvement in general. Chilean youth are highly active in associations, as underlined by the about 75% declaring that they either participate or participated in an organization.[14] But instead of politically motivated organizations, rather traditional (sports, religious, cultural) or other communities (virtual, hobbies) as well as volunteering attract their attention.[15]

Popular protest

During the dictatorship of 1973-1990 popular protest was harshly repressed. Although schools and universities were the only spaces that enjoyed any kind of legal protection from police and military intervention (as only a school or university’s rector could grant permission for armed intervention), uprisings which began to increasingly take place during the 1980s were quickly put down and resulted in imprisonment and torture.[16] Pinochet’s legacy of violence, political repression and autocratic governance therefore explains the reticence of many Chileans to organize politically during that time and even after the transition to democracy. Indeed, during the 1990s, with the vanishing of the ideological foundation for protest, the mobilization movements were characterized by disintegration and activism was carried out only inside the institutions (high schools and universities).[17]

However, since the turn of the century, popular protest by the young generation has seen a spectacular revival. Initiated with the “mochilazo” in 2001 and culminating in the “penguin’s revolution” in 2006 with up to 800.000 protestors, representing the largest student demonstrations for over three decades, this “new era” of protests highlights especially the activism and self-confidence of the high school generation. To make their voices heard, the youths seem to increasingly choose a strategy of escalation, with demonstrations, strikes, sit-ins and occupations of university offices or buildings becoming common means of expression. Whether to stand up for education reform (throughout the past years), against the public transport system (in 2007) or at the occasion of symbolic dates (e.g. 29th of march: Day of the Youth Combatant in memory of the militant youth protests in 1985; 1st of may: Labour day; 11th of september: anniversary of the 1973 coup), violence has become an integral part of the mobilizations and stones, tear gas and water canons means of polical confrontation.

Without any doubt, the landscape of political participation in Chile has evolved. Whereas participation in elections has decreased on a broad basis, open (and often violent) protest is becoming more frequent. This seems to be the case for the young generation in particular. With more than two million youths not registered for elections, the lack of youth interest to participate in conventional politics has become striking and raises the question of representativity and legitimacy of the politcal system.[18] The high degree of participation in associations and organizations, however, makes it clear that there is not a general problem of apathy, but rather a rejection to participate in adult-led hierarchical processes and institutions. Demands are thus increasingly expressed through informal channels, trying to directly capture the attention of the media and the government with open protest movements.

Explanations for the different patterns of participation

In order to understand the tendency towards more informal ways of participation, it is essential to follow the logical sequence on how protests emerge. This leads us to the need of analizing the souces of grievance in the first place, followed by the contextual factors shaping responses to such grievances.[19] In this regard, possible causes explaining the rejection of formal participation (similar to other countries) on the one hand and those factors which are particular to Chile in triggering protest movements on the other hand can be considered seperately. Indeed, not in all countries where citizens feel increasingly disconnected from their political rulers an escalation of the demands is observed (e.g. Europe).

Sources of grievances and demands

Chile has been a success story of economic development over the past decades. To name only a few indicators, its GDP per capita is among the two highest in Latin America (together with Mexico), average growth was around 5,6% since 1990 (best in the region) and it ranks number 27 in global (!!) competitiveness (the highest in the Latin American region). However, around 20% of the population still lives in poverty and income inequality remains among the highest on the continent.[20] In this context, the young generation, as in whole Latin America (and actually in the whole world), figures amongst the most vulnerable parts of society, a fact alarmingly underlined by the high rate of youth unemployment in the country (19,1% compared to a national average of 7,9%).[21] These conflicting economic indicators have resulted in a significant gap between expectations to participate in the overall prosperity and consumption versus the ability to actually do so which gives rise to a deep perception of social injustice and exclusion.

Indeed, whereas the protests of the 1980s were very much ideologically founded or perhaps even revolutionary, today’s demands are not aimed at bringing about regime change nor overthrowing the government. Now youth participation is much more centered around concrete and practical claims considered important in achieving a more equal society and reducing social inequality, and thus to their own benefit. Although some of these claims have concerned diverse topics such as the environment, human rights or working conditions, the major point of grievance has been the education system. As a matter of fact, the latter has become a symbol for the divided chilean society, the persistent lack of opportunities for many young people and consequently the perceived injustice. Significantly reformed during Pinochet’s rule (the latest reform[22] being promulgated during his last days in government in 1990), the responsibility for education had been transferred to public and private corporations thus limiting the role of the state and reducing the participation that students, parents, teachers and non-academic employees had previously enjoyed in their schools.[23] Since then, and despite significant government spending in education throughout the Concertación governments, the wide gaps in quality of the education system between rich and poor areas as well as the unequal possibilities to access higher education at all have been source of major discontent.

Contextual factors shaping responses to grievances

The perception of institutions

The quality of a democracy is characterized not only by the pure existence of representative institutions, but in large part also by the citizens perception of their abilities to participate in the political system and their appraisal of the state quality. The youth’s perception of the existing institutions thus becomes crucial in understanding their relation to politics. Data provided by the National Youth Survey[24] actually suggests an alarming disconnection between the young generation and the politcal system. In 2003, 78,5% of the respondents highlighted that in their view, politicians cared little about youth in general while 73,7% could not identify with any political party. Trust in parties (8,8%), Congress (18,2%) and the government (33,5%) also proved to be extraordinary low and even worsened in 2006 (7%, 9,6% and 17,7% respectively).[25] Despite the low esteem of institutions, democracy itself didn’t seem to be questioned for a long time. Again in 2003, 72,5% of the youth agreed that democracy is preferrable to any other regime, and that it is useful for the young generation (75%). However, in the most recent survey (2006), only 57,1% still prefer democracy to other government systems giving rise to significant share of young people who thought that it does not matter whether a democracy or an authoritarian regime is in place (23,7%). Also, 50,1% declared that they are “not at all” or “not” satisfied with democracy in Chile.

Therefore, the low political identification of the young generation certainly is one main factor in explaining the low participation through formal means (e.g. elections). Also, their low esteem of politicians and political institutions increasingly rises doubts about the youth’s support for democracy which had been unchallenged in the past. But even if democracy was not seriously put into question, the lack of confidence in the institutional framework and the perception of little ability to influence and being heard at least has created a persistent distance between the (young) citizens and the political system. But again, this is not only a phenomenon of the youth. As the 2007 Latinobarometro polls show, confidence in political parties and satisfaction with democracy have been alarmingly low (20% and 36% respectively).[26] Consequently, in general terms, as institutions lose their function of representation and are unable to channel demands, the latter are more likely to be expressed informally transforming into protests.

The electoral system

Chilean congressional elections are characterized by a binominal[27] electoral system. Although, like any majority system, it provides higher stability and ensures the rule of the few main parties (or coalitions) it might also have led to the perception of a monopolistic rule (as underlined by four consecutive Concertación-led governments). Indeed, competition among parties is weakened, alternative small parties basically having no real chance to compete against the big ones and gain seats in Congress. Eventually leading to a perception of lack of political alternatives, it might therefore have discouraged the citizen’s participation in the politcal process.

Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the system of electoral registration and mandatory vote is also claimed to have a negative impact on political participation. Requiring significant effort to register in the first place as well as the subsequent lifelong obligation to take part in each election might have discouraged participation in elections (especially among the young).[28] Reform projects aiming at introducing automatic registration have so far been jeopardized by the conservative opposition parties, fearing the inclusion of more than 2 million young voters which presumably would have benefited the Concertación.

Youth policies

With the transition to democracy, the new government recognized a “social debt” towards the youth, who had been systematically marginalized during the military rule suffering severe socio-economic exclusion especially in urban areas (e.g. from the labor market).[29] Partly to “pay off” this social debt and partly in response to the potential threat that could emerge through such exclusion (as represented by the political violence which had taken place in 1980s) the creation of a National Youth Institute (INJ, today INJUV) and the implementation of PROJOVEN, a national program investing in measures on vocational training, cultural and leisure activities, health and participation among others, represented the early attempts to respond to the youth’s needs (by 1991).[30] Despite this new focus on the nation’s young generation, the overall outcome of youth policy in the folling years (and until today) remained limited, making some scholars even refer to the “lost decade in youth policy”.[31] An external institute without strong anchors in the ministerial organization and subject to frequequent changes of its strategic orientation (which almost led to its shutdown in 1997) as well as the persistent interpretation of youth policy as response to the “problematic youth” and less as promotion of the youth’s role as an equitable citizen have been some reasons why the youth did not come to believe that the state was successfully responding to their demands. Even in recent years, despite proclaimed strenghtening of youth policies[32], these fall partly more in the category of declarations of intent, with planned reforms finally not being implemented (as for example the change of the electoral system to automatic registration). Youth policy in Chile, disagregated and not sustained, therefore remains on a weak institutional basis. The fact of decreasing electoral participation of the youth has even lowered the institutional incentives to take up their demands (as they do not represent high electoral weight) leading to a vicious circle between low participation and low political attention and causing even higher frustrations.[33]

The socio-economic environment

Despite the inequalities mentioned above Chile’s sustained economic growth and politcal stability since the transition to democracy in 1990 has led to an overall increase in public welfare and a better staisfaction of basic needs. In this overall wave of relative prosperity, consumption has become a priority. It also has created a stronger focus on a more individualistic life style with a greater emphasis on professional success.[34] These facts could partly explain the lower electoral participation in Chile at the national level (and therefore also the youth) by arguing that in situation of sustained economic growth and democratic stability the incentives and necessity to participate decrease. Indeed, the impact of political alternatives is considered to have a lower weight on personal lives in such circumstances so that the shift towards a consumption society might have contributed to a crowding out of political concern and interest.


The role of history

Much less discussed in the context of political particpation in Chile is the legacy of history. While politcal activity was vivid during the 1960s and early 1970s, seeing big electoral campaigns and mobilization of civil society, it came to an abrubt end when General Pinochet overthrow the socialist government of Salvador Allende in 1973 and harshly repressed opposition from then on. With thousands of people tortured, killed, disappeared or flown into exile, Chile became a silent society in response to the permanent threat. Thus, the experience of authoritarianism for almost 20 years during what time demands and protests could not be freely expressed, has contributed to a severe gap between the society and the state which still endures. It therefore fosters violence between citizens and the corporate state bodies such as police and military (which are considered to obey to the same leaders as during the dictatorship). This is the case for all Chileans, but might be especially true for the young. Indeed, the youths were one of the most penalized and marginalized sectors in terms of social policy during the dictatorship. Furthermore, despite the risk of repression, students were among the first to rebel against Pinochet’s reforms in 1981, while youth militias started to violently attack government facilities. Especially the latter has contributed to the herofication of youth rebellion which lasts until today as underlined by the “Day of the Youth Combatent” celebrated every year on march 29th. Consequently, although most of today’s youths haven’t experienced the military regime themselves, these memories have given rise to a culture of resistence which significantly influences the way young Chileans view themselves in society and the way to articulate their interests.

The role of societal changes

It can also be argued, that the socio-economic development in Chile has triggered considerable transformations of its societal order. Indeed, the early path of economic success and the increasing commercial interconnections with other countries have initiated a modernization process which in the end has led to cultural change. In this context, many scholars argue that globalization, and the related increase of communication technologies and mass media, have played a fundamental role in creating new values within the society.[35] In fact, these changes in society might be important in explaining some of the youth’s unrest and dissent situating todays Chile in a context maybe comparable to Europe or the U.S. in the late 1960s (which is not the case for other Latin American countries). Being at the forefront of modernization, their changing values have come to clash with the still traditional society[36] leading to a strong rupture between youth and adults. In fact, the exclusion of high school students from school for being homosexual or pregnant became one reason for rebelling against the old establishment in the early 2000s.

The perception of youth in society

Furthermore, the domestic public perception of youth in Chile tends to be negative, associating youth with a lack of responsibility and rebellious behavior as well as with societal problems such as crime, drugs or alcohol abuse.[37] Therefore, they are viewed as either a threat or a problem. In this context, the societal change mentioned above might contribute to the perception of threat since the youths increasingly challenge the old conservative value system. At the same time, the perception of youth as an important actor for change with a great role for the future is mostly neglected. This pattern is also reflected in opinion surveys, with the lack of confidence towards the youth as well as discrimination on age or pupil/student status mentioned among the main problems which affect the young. Marginalization therefore constitutes another leverage underlining the inability to formally express their interests and be heard.


The characteristics of the youth

Finally, the generational perspective confers the youths with some unique characteristics. Indeed, contrary to other societal differentiations by sex or ethnic affiliation, youth is a temporary phenomenon. While getting older, interests, opinions and concerns evolve and the automatic affiliation to the young generation vanishes. Representation of specific youth interests is thus heavily affected. In order to benefit themselves, there is a pressure for quick results, and interest articulation must be put forward with great energy. This is supported by the fact that young people are conspicuously inclined to take risks, to expose themselves and others to danger, and that they tend to engage in socially disruptive behavior in order to back their demands. However, as generations of young opinion leaders only last for a few years, the effectiveness and continuity of youth activism is permanantly undermined.[38]


To put it in a nutshell, there is certainly not only a single explanation to understand the patterns of political participation of Chile’s young generation. Rather it is a combination of different interrelated causes. At the origin stands a profound perception of social injustice within the society, in large part projected at the education system which cements inequalities and to whose reform most of the youth’s demands relate. Next, in the youth’s perception, the politcal system seems to be unable to respond to these demands, as illustrated by the low esteem of politcal institutions and the deficient effectiveness of youth policies. Finally, and this is what is particular to Chile, a culture of resistence which developed under the authoritarian regime, current transformations in society which increasingly lead to a generational clash, a feeling of marginalization as well as the natural characteristics of the youths themselves can help to explain the use of open protest.

Impact on democratic consolidation & conclusion

Decreasing levels of participation, on a national level and especially among the youths, indicate a growing dissatisfaction with the political system and the way democracy works. Although it would be an exaggeration to claim that Chile faces a crisis of political participation, based on the fact that overall participation has been comparable to pre-dictorship times and that the extremely high participation during the transition to democracy must be discounted for its historical uniqueness,[39] these developments are definitely worrying. Representativeness and vertical accountability, vital elements of a functioning democracy, are weakened and the low esteem in politcal institutions questions the legitimacy of the state. In addition, the growing number of political protests increasingly involving violence currently undermines the stability of the country (albeit not in an existential way).

On the other hand, the constructive way in which the Chilean government negotiated with the students in response to their protests during the last years may represent the formulation of new, democratic norms of interaction between the state and key groups within society. Indeed, the students’ success in the early stages of their negotiations with the state as for example during the massive 2006 protests, demonstrates a newfound willingness on the part of the governing coalition to respond quickly and decisively to the popular demands of some societal actor bearing a credible message.[40] Also, such mobilizations can help to revitalize a participatory culture that has been absent from Chile for over thirty years.

The decade of the 1990s has been shaped by the transition from an authoritarian regime to a democracy. Much has been achieved during that time, and the country is on a good way to catch up to the “Premier league” of economically and politically leading countries, as illustrated by the negotiations for admittance to the OECD. However, this process can only be sustainable if the government succeeds to respond to the populations demands and successfully fights the persistent inequalities and social injustice.

In this context, a stronger focus on the youth is crucial. As a major part of the population, they represent not only the country’s future but also its present. A decisive effort to make institutions and policy more responsive and take action to prevent the youth from being socially excluded and discriminated will therefore constitute some factors of succes. As long as this is not achieved, Chile’s democracy will suffer its ultimate degree of consolidation.


Books & Papers:

Angell A. / Pollack B., (2000), The Chilean Presidential Elections of 1999-2000 and the Consolidation of Democracy, in Bulletin of Latin American Research, vol 19:3

Altbach, P. (1989), Perspectives on Student Political Activism, Comparative Education, Vol. 25, No. 1., pp. 97-110.

Balardini, Sergio (2000), La Participación Social y Política de los Jóvenes en el Horizonte del Nuevo Siglo, Grupo de Trabajo Juventud, CLACSO, ASDI, Buenos Aires.

Contreras, Tamara et al. (2005), Identidad, Participación e Hitos de Resistencia Juvenil en Chile Contemporáneo, Centro de Estudios Socioculturales, Santiago de Chile

Contreras, Tamara (2005), Algunos hitos de la participación juvenil en Chile contemporáneo, Centro de Estudios Socioculturales, Santiago de Chile

De la Maza, Gonzalo (2003), Sociedad Civil y Democracia en Chile, in: Panfichi, Aldo: “Sociedad Civil, Esfera Pública y Democracia en América Latina. Andes y Cono Sur.” Fondo de Cultura Económica, México, 2003.

Eckstein, Susan (ed.) (2001), Power and Popular Protest: Latin American Social Movements

Eyssautier, A. / Palma, M. (2006), Participación política juvenil en los noventa, un ciudadano en transición, Santiago de Chile

Fernandez, Gabriela (2002), Notas sobre la participación política de los jóvenes chilenos, in: Sergio Balardini, “La participación social y política de los jóvenes en el horizonte del nuevo siglo”, CLACSO, Buenos Aires

Foweraker, Joe (2001), Grassroot Movements and Political Activcism in Latin America: A critical comparison of Chile and Brazil, Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 33, No. 4. (Nov., 2001), pp. 839-865.

Fuentes, Claudio (2005), Juventud y participación política en el Chile actual, Speach at Saint George High School, Santiago de Chile

Fuentes, Claudio / Andrés Villar (2004), Inscripción Electoral Automática y Calidad de la Democracia, FLACSO, Santiago de Chile

Garretón, Manuel Antonio (2004), La calidad de la política en Chile, Colección Ideas, Año 5, N°42, Santiago de Chile

Granadino, Jorge Chávez (1999), Los Jóvenes a la obra?: Juventud y Participación Política, Lima

Gumucio, C. P. (2003), Abstencionismo, Juventud y Política en Chile actual, Estudios Avancados Interactivos

Hopenhayn, Martín (2004), Participación Juvenil y Política Pública: Un Modelo Para Amar, presented at Congresso da Associação Latino Americana de População, 18- 20 september 2004.

Krauskopf, Dina (2002), Dimensiones críticas en la participación social de las juventudes, in: Sergio Balardini, “La participación social y política de los jóvenes en el horizonte del nuevo siglo”, CLACSO, Buenos Aires

Leon, Oscar Dávila (2001), La década perdida en política de juventud en Chile; o la década del aprendizaje doloroso? Hacia una política pública de juventud, in: Última Década N°14, Viña del Mar

Levy, Daniel (1981), Student Politics in Contemporary Latin America, Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue canadienne de science politique, Vol. 14, No. 2.

Levy, Daniel (1991), The Decline of Latin American Student Activism, Higher Education, Vol. 22, No. 2, Student Political Activism and Attitudes. (Sep., 1991), pp. 145-155.

Luna, J.P. / Seligson M. (2007), Cultura Política de la Democrácia en Chile: 2006, Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP)

Lipset Seymour M. (1966), University Students and Politics in Underdeveloped Countries, Comparative Education Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, Special Issue on Student Politics. pp. 132-162.

Lipset Seymour M. (1967), Student Politics, Basic Books, New York

Macassi, Sandro (2002), Participación juvenil en el contexto de la recuperación demócrata, in: Última Década N°16, Viña del Mar

Maureira, Sergio (2006), La inscripción electoral de los jóvenes en Chile. Factores de incidencia y aproximaciones al debate, CIEPLAN

Moller, Herbert (1968), Youth as a Force in the Modern World, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 10, No. 3. (Apr., 1968), pp. 237-260.

Navia, Patricio (2004), Participación electoral en Chile 1988-2001, Revista de Ciencia Política, vol. 24, n°001, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile

Pizarro, Patricio (1997), Jóvenes: Reflexiones en torno al tema de la participación y la política, in: Última Década N°07, Viña del Mar

Rodriguez, Ernesto (2000), Juventud y políticas públicas en América Latina: Experiencias y desafíos deste la gestión institucional, in: Última Década N°13, Viña del Mar

Rodriguez, Ernesto (2004), Participación juvenil y políticas públicas en América Latina: Algunas pistas iniciales para reflexionar colectivamente, Documento Base del Foro Electrónico sobre Organizaciones Juveniles en la Región Andina (CELAJU, 6 al 17 de diciembre de 2004)

Rodriguez, Ernesto (2003), Políticas públicas de juventud en América Latina: Empoderamiento de los jóvenes, enfoques integrados, gestión moderna y perspectiva generacional, Bogotá

Rodriguez, Ernesto (2005), J óvenes, movimientos juveniles y políticas públicas de juventud en el Mercosur: Una “hoja de ruta” para encarar, Revista Electrónica Latinoamericana de Estudios sobre Juventud, Año 1, N°1

Seoane J., Taddei E. (2002), Cuestionando el presente, recuperando el futuro – Juventudes, mundialización y protestas sociales, in: Sergio Balardini, “La participación social y política de los jóvenes en el horizonte del nuevo siglo”, CLACSO, Buenos Aires

Sandoval, Mario (2002), La relación entre los cambios culturales de fino de siglo y la participación social y política de los jóvenes, in: Sergio Balardini, “La participación social y política de los jóvenes en el horizonte del nuevo siglo”, CLACSO, Buenos Aires

Suchliki, Jaime (1972), Sources of Student Violence in Latin America: An Analysis of the Literature, Latin American Research Review, Vol. 7, No. 3. (Autumn, 1972), pp. 31-46.

Thomas, D. / Craig, R. (1973.), Student Dissent in Latin America: Toward a Comparative Analysis, Latin American Research Review, Vol. 8, No. 1. (Spring, 1973), pp. 71-96.

Urrestí, Marcelo (2002), P aradigmas de participación juvenil: un balance histórico, in: Sergio Balardini, “La participación social y política de los jóvenes en el horizonte del nuevo siglo”, CLACSO, Buenos Aires

Vásquez, Mauricio R. (2000), Reflexión sobre la experiencia de política de juventud en Chile, in: Última Década N°12, Viña del Mar

Woollcombe, David (2007), Youth-led development: Empowering youth to make poverty history, Schumacher Briefing N°14, Greenbooks, Devon

Surveys and Action Plans:

INJUV (2001), Encuesta Nacional de Juventud 2000, Santiago de Chile

INJUV (2004a), Resultados preliminares Cuarta Encuesta Nacional de Juventud 2003, Documento de Trabajo N°5, Santiago de Chile

INJUV (2004b), Chile se compromete con los jóvenes: Plan de Acción Juventud, Santiago de Chile

INJUV (2007), Encuesta Nacional de Juventud 2006, Santiago de Chile (17/12/2007)

Latinobarometro (2007), Informe Latinobarometro 2007, Santiago de Chile

Ministerio de Educación de Chile (1999), Educación para Todos: Evaluación en el año 2000. Informe de Chile, Santiago de Chile (17/12/2007)

UAI (2004), Estudio Participación Política Juvenil: La mirada de los universitarios, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez

Multilateral Organizations:

ECLAC (a), Estudio Económico de América Latina (several years)

PNUD (2004), La Democrácia en América Latina: Hacia una democracia de ciudadanas y ciudadanos, New York

OIT (2007), Trabajo decente y juventud, Lima

UNFPA (2005), State of the World’s Population 2005 – The promise of equality, Geneva

World Economic Forum (2006), Global Competitiveness Report 2006, Davos

Worldbank (2006), World Development Report 2007 – Development and the next generation, Washington D.C.

Internet pages:

Politicas publicas de juventud en Chile: de la transicion al bicentenario. Portal de Juventud para America Latina: (17/12/2007)

Servicio electoral:

Nuevas Generaciones UDI:

Juventud Renovación Nacional:

Juventud Demócrata Cristiana:

Juventud PPD:

Juventud Radical de Chile:

Juventud Socialista:

Juventudes Comunistas:

Federación de Estudiantes:

(Universidad de Chile)

Federación de Estudiantes:

(Universidad Católica)


Annex 1: Registered population for elections, 1988-2006

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Servicio Electoral (

Annex 2: Registered as a percentage of the respective voting age population, 1988-2006

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Maureira (2006), p. 107.

Annex 3: Selected results from the “Encuesta Nacional de Juventud” 2003 and 2006

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: INJUV (2004a), INJUV (2007)

Annex 4: Selected survey results Latinobarometro 2007

¿Cuán justa cree Ud. que es la distribución del ingreso en (país)? *Aquí solo ‘Muy justa’ y ‘Justa’

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

¿Diría Ud. que está muy satisfecho, más bien satisfecho, no muy satisfecho o nada satisfecho con el funcionamiento de la democracia en (país)? *Aquí ‘Muy satisfecho’ más ‘Más bien satisfecho’

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Por favor, mire esta tarjeta y dígame, para cada uno de los grupos/instituciones o personas mencionadas en la lista. ¿Cuánta confianza tiene usted en ellas: mucha, algo , poca o ninguna confianza en…? * Aquí solo ‘Los partidos políticos’ **Aquí solo ‘Mucha’ más ‘Algo’

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Latinobarometro (2007)


[1] UNFPA (2005).

[2] Altbach (1989), p. 97-99.

[3] Altbach (1989), p. 97.

[4] See for example Macassi (2002), Gumucio (2003), Maurera (2006).

[5] As defined by the Instituto Nacional de Juventud (INJUV).

[6] Woolcombe (2007), p.43.

[7] See Maureira (2006), see Annex 1, 2,3.

[8] See Gumucio (2003), p. 2-3.

[9] See for example Sandoval (2002), Gumucio (2003).

[10] See Navia (2004), p. 92.

[11] Unfortunately, achieving membership data of the different organizations has been out of the scope of this paper.

[12] Their respective web pages are indicated in the bibliography.

[13] See INJUV (2004a).

[14] See INJUV (2004a).

[15] See INJUV (2004a), Hopenhayn (2004), p.16.

[16] See Contreras et al. (2005).

[17] See Contreras (2005).

[18] See Gumucio (2003), Fuentes (2005), Pizarro (1997).

[19] See Eckstein (2001).

[20] See ECLAC (a), World Economic Forum (2006).

[21] OIT (2007), p.29.

[22] The Organic Constitutional Law on Teaching or LOCE (Law Nº 18,962), coming into force on march 10th, 1990.

[23] Ministerio de Educación de Chile (1999).

[24] Conducted in 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2006.

[25] See INJUV (2007). Also compare Fernandez (2002), p. 99-103.

[26] Latinobarometro (2007). See Annex 4.

[27] Type of majority system in which political parties or groupings form pacts and permit slates (two candidates per slate), from which two senators and two deputies are elected from each district. By requiring each party to obtain two-thirds of the vote in each district for the successful election of its two candiddates to the legislature, this system gives the opposition disproporationate representation in Congress

[28] See for example Fuentes (2005), UAI (2004).

[29] See for example Pizarro (1997), Leon (2001).


[31] Leon (2001).

[32] As expressed with the Youth Action Plan 2004

[33] Fuentes (2005).

[34] Sandoval (2002).

[35] See Sandoval (2002).

[36] In a large number of topics such as divorce (prohibited until 2004), abortion, sexuality and reproduction or premarital relationships the youths usually have much more liberal views than the governing elites or other corporate bodies (esp. the Church).

[37] See Fernandez (2002).

[38] See Altbach (1989).

[39] Navia (2004).


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Youth activism in Chile - Why do Chilean youth choose open street protests as their common method of political expression?
Johns Hopkins University
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Youth, Chile, Chilean
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Kevin Hempel (Author), 2007, Youth activism in Chile - Why do Chilean youth choose open street protests as their common method of political expression?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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