Thursday, 8 March 2012

The MBA president

There has long been a debate in Latin America about the role of technocrats in politics, and not just in Chile (check out Centeno's classic work on Mexico). Unlike Mexico, however, in Chile these foreign-trained number-crunchers remained in the background, or at best, took on ministerial positions in things like Finance.

The current Chilean president is not only a technocrat, but also a businessman, and since he has come to office, much has been said about the tensions that exist between talents, skills and instincts that are required in politics versus those required in business.

As I say in this column, this debate is part of a deeper one about the role of ideology in politics, and especially within the parties of the right, and it is a debate that, with a businessman candidate leading the race, the Republican Party in the United States is going through as well.

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