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Siren Song by Carl J. Carl J. Bauer

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CHAPTER 3

REFORMING THE REFORM?POLICY DEBATE UNDERCHILEAN DEMOCRACY

If we pause in early 2004 to review the Water Code's first 20-plus years, what trends stand out? I will briefly highlight three general points and then discuss the second and third points in detail in the next two chapters.

First, the Water Code's second decade (the 1990s) has been much more dynamic and controversial than its first decade (the 1980s). During the 1980s water rights issues had a very low public profile in Chile and provoked little public debate. One reason is simply that the Water Code was still new and fairly unknown, even among water users. Another is the general weakness of the national economy until the later 1980s: the poor economic conditions reduced demand ...

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