The state of housing, the business of the state: The spatial consequences of housing and urban development policies developed by the entrepreneurial state in Chile (1973--1989)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Housing, Business, Urban development, Entrepreneurial state, Chile

Subject Categories

Geography | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The objective of this study has been to provide a distinctive perspective on Chilean housing policies developed during the military dictatorship. It combines analyses of Chile's military regime's military professionalism, theories of an entrepreneurial state, the mechanics of business administration and the spatial consequences of the regime's housing and urban development programs in Santiago de Chile to offer an alternative explanation of the military government's housing policies. This study answers six related questions. (1) How did military values shape Chile's entrepreneurial state's "corporate culture?" (2) How did managerial practices combine with military professionalism to produce a set of institutions that could effectively eliminate the housing deficit? (3) How did individual aspects of the housing process parlay into specific action plans to address the shortage? (4) By extension, how were programs and policies adjusted to correct for unsatisfactory outcomes? (5) How were territorial realignment, institutional restructuring and the national corporate assets of urban land and the individual housing unit used to advance the regime's political project? (6) Did the spatial consequence of the housing programs reflect Augusto Pinochet's training as a geographer? While a seemingly unorthodox pairing of the disciplines of geography and business administration, there were two compelling reasons driving this academic arbitrage. First, General Augusto Pinochet, was not only a geopolitician and military professional but also geographer. He positioned himself as, what is argued in this study as the CEO of Chile. Second, the business of resolving Chile's chronic housing shortage produced significant landscape and municipal administration changes in Santiago.


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