In most Latin American countries, key officials and political figures have been involved in big corruption scandals in the last decade, leading to a rigorous academic debate on the possible socio-economic, political and cultural factors responsible for corrupt practices across the region. This book takes a different approach by focusing on Chile, which shows the lowest levels of corruption in the region. Instead of analysing notoriously bad cases in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, this book explores the factors which have led to a relatively high degree of public probity among power holders in Chile.
Public Probity and Corruption in Chile presents a long-term historical analysis demonstrating that public probity in Chile has its roots in the colonial period, and that public and state responses have historically shown a low level of tolerance for public cases of corruption. In particular, the author highlights the role played by relative poverty and lack of resources, geographical remoteness, the impact of the Arauco War against the Mapuche people, the militarisation of both government and public administration, the extreme oligarchic nature of the Chilean aristocracy, the early consolidation of state institutions and the rule of law, high levels of political stability and the role played by patriotism.
Studying an example of better practice in detail in this way provides valuable insights into the factors and actors which can help to prevent or to revert the phenomenon of public corruption in the region more generally. As such, this book will be of interest to researchers of corruption and public probity both in Chile and further afield.