Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Global Studies


Daniel Maliniak

Committee Members

Richard Turits

S.P. Harish

Daniel Maliniak


Chile’s failure to sign and ratify the 2018 Escazú Agreement reveals a more peculiar challenge than the simple issue of shifting political preferences in the presidential office. The state’s domestic institutions, namely an authoritarian Constitution, skewed legislative structure, and neoliberal economic landscape, systematically impair Chile’s ability to pass meaningful environmental policy and commit to multilateral environmental agreements. However, actively participating in Latin America’s environmental treaty process served to accumulate international political capital and soft power since negotiation began in 2012 during center-right President Sebastián Piñera’s first administration. In the drafting of a multilateral environmental treaty for Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile performed the role of regional environmental leader in the presence of overwhelming domestic institutional constraints on treaty ratification. This theory that institutions precluded Chile's adoption of the treaty is joined with the theory of performative environmental foreign policy to explain why Chile would champion the Agreement only to abandon it in 2020.

On-Campus Access Only