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Social movements and democracy : the case of post-dictatorial Chile, 1988-2017


This thesis aims to give an account of the evolution, in Chile, of the management of the protest events by the institutions in charge of public order since the return to democracy in 1990. It aims to examine the way in which a country once ruled by repression frames, once the democracy returned, the protests of different groups of society. The thesis also questions the existence of a differentiated treatment of the protest events according to the public mobilized. The investigation was conducted between March 2015 and May 2017 and is based on a material consisting of observations, interviews, press archives. This work is composed of three parts. The first examines the elements that have shaped the Chilean political context of the transition, which is largely unfavorable to collective action. It also analyzes the characteristics and the institutional culture of the police in charge of policing protest, by observing how are articulated the military character of this institution and the bases of the doctrine of protest policing. In the second, the mobilizations of the indigenous peoples and students of Chile are lengthily deciphered, in particular the question of their repertoire of action and the interactions between these groups, the Chilean State and the police forces. The third part is devoted to the way in which the recent past of Chile becomes the issue of speeches and mobilizations, and is closely interested in different days of commemoration. Finally, it examines the effects of police militarization on law enforcement, and on the representations of the world surrounding its professional practices

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