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Beyond Imported MagicEssays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America$
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Eden Medina, Ivan da Costa Marques, and Christina Holmes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027458

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027458.001.0001

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Neoliberalism as Political Technology: Expertise, Energy, and Democracy in Chile

Neoliberalism as Political Technology: Expertise, Energy, and Democracy in Chile

(p.305) 15 Neoliberalism as Political Technology: Expertise, Energy, and Democracy in Chile
Beyond Imported Magic

Manuel Tironi

Javiera Barandiarán

The MIT Press

Tironi and Barandiarán examine Chilean energy policy in the context of neoliberalism, which they argue functions as a “political technology”—a form of applied knowledge that can be used in pragmatic and intentional ways to transform the state and society. To demonstrate how neoliberalism and its use as a political technology have changed over time, they examine two cases. The first is the dismantling of Chilean nuclear energy policy in the 1970s, when the Chilean government’s instantiation of the neoliberal model devalued the expertise of Chilean nuclear engineers while giving greater power to Chilean economists. The second case examines a recent hydropower generation project to argue that although current forms of neoliberalism permit multiple and noneconomic forms of expertise to contribute to environmental regulations, they do so only in ways that do not threaten the structure of the neoliberal state.

Keywords:   Neoliberalism, political technology, nuclear energy, hydropower, environment, regulation, state, Chile

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