Ernesto Silva


Ernesto Silva is a Chilean politician, scholar, and formerly a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was the president of the Unión Demócrata Independiente (UDI) Political Party (2014–5), the largest party  in the Congress. Silva was elected to office, serving years in the Cámara de Diputados of the Chilean Congress. He was the chairman of the Finance Committee in 2012 and has  participated in several other committees, including Budget, Labor, Internal Security, and Poverty and Social Development.

In addition to his political career, Silva has been a faculty member at the School of Government of Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD), Chile, for the past ten years. At that institution, he has also been director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, vice president for Undergraduate Studies, and member of the Board of Trustees.

Combining his political and academic experience, Silva´s research interests are in political institutions, political economy, and public policy. He specializes in the Chilean policy-making process, mainly in the interaction between the president and  Congress and the political control of the bureaucracy. His research has been published in journals such as Anales del Instituto de Chile, Public Choice, and Estudios Públicos.

In the past year Professor Silva worked on the role of the Chicago School of Economics in Chilean development and  the future economic agenda of the country. His book Aire Nuevo para Chile: un recambio necesario (2015) advocates a new strategic narrative and political discourse for the conservative movement in Chile.

In his political role Silva frequently contributes his opinion in the leading public media of his country, including El Mercurio and La Tercera newspapers, several radios, and TV networks like CNN Chile, Television Nacional de Chile, among others. Silva has also been a columnist for Chilean newspapers such as La Segunda and Diario Financiero.

He received a JD (Licenciatura en Derecho) from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, an MPP from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in political science from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

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Recent Commentary


Latin America: Opportunities and Challenges for the Governance of a Fragile Continent

by Ernesto Silva via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, December 3, 2018

Facebook Live. That was the platform chosen by Jair Bolsonaro to issue his first statements after learning of his triumph in the presidential elections in Brazil in October 2018.1 It was not a speech at the headquarters of his party or in a public place. It was not the television channels or the radio stations that intermediated in the communication with the citizens. More than 300,000 people saw their statements live, and within the hour there were more than two million people who had seen his eight-minutes long message, approximately, quickly registering nearly 350,000 comments and reactions.