Revista de Ciencia Política UC

Chile 2022: From Great Expectations to Rising Pessimism


Diego Sazo


In 2022, Chile witnessed two unprecedented events in its recent history: a new political generation came into office, and the end of a consensual and participatory constitutional process. While the early-year hegemony of progressive forces suggested substantive changes in the country, an unexpected conservative backlash in the second half of the year dismantled those expectations. In this article, I analyse three critical processes that help explain the recent variable trajectory of Chilean politics throughout 2022. First, I examine the Constitutional Convention and its discrediting process in the eyes of citizens. Based on opinion polls, I demonstrate how the delegate’s scandals, the prioritisation of measures not perceived as critical by the majority of people, and the proposal of highly divisive contents contributed to the final electoral defeat. Second, I delve into the first year of Gabriel Boric’s government, focusing on his actions and discourses and how they had to be readjusted amid the changing conditions of the country. Finally, I analyse the evolution of three internal security threats: violent protests, criminal violence and indigenous insurgencies. Using quantitative data, I illustrate how these problems have recently intensified and how they have influenced a growing attitude of pessimism across the country.