Chile’s Failed Constitution: Democracy Wins

Issue Date April 2023
Volume 34
Issue 2
Page Numbers 90–104
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On 4 September 2022, Chileans unequivocally rebuffed a new constitution proposed by an elected convention tasked with replacing the constitution inherited from the military government. The constitution-writing process started with broad support among the population, and in its early days most believed approval would be certain. However, over time, trust in the convention plummeted, and opposition to the content of its proposal soared. This article argues that three reasons explain this outcome: the convention’s proposal was radical and out of sync with most Chileans; its amateurish membership made too many mistakes and failed to course-correct; and the declining popularity of President Gabriel Boric, the most prominent figure in the proreform camp, further damaged the proposal’s fate.

About the Authors

Eduardo Alemán

Eduardo Alemán is associate professor of political science at the University of Houston.

View all work by Eduardo Alemán

Patricio Navia

Patricio Navia is professor of liberal studies at New York University and professor of political science at Universidad Diego Portales in Chile.

View all work by Patricio Navia