Introduction
ETHNOGRAPHY, HISTORY, AND MEMORY
Chile is internationally regarded as a model nation-state in both eco-
nomic and political terms, making it an ideal place to research ques-
tions of nation-state formation. Indeed, even in the early nineteenth
century, Chile was seen as an exceptionally stable republic relative to
the other newly independent countries of the Americas. The histo-
rians Gabriel Salazar and Julio Pinto argue that in Chile the state
consolidated well before the nation. The Chilean state has remained
coherent and maintained its integrity despite numerous periods of
intense conflict with heavy doses of state violence. In the wake of
such violent conjunctures the state’s ability to recover a wide social
consensus regarding its legitimacy has enabled policymakers to en-
gage in creative economic and political experimentation.
In economic-policy circles Chile is considered a model for neo-
liberal, market-driven reforms in areas such as public health, educa-
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