Plebiscite for Constitutional Reform

The Plebiscite for Constitutional Reform is a direct democracy tool that is enshrined in the Chilean Constitution approved in 1980 during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and that is still in force today. This mechanism can be activated by the President of the Republic after Congress insists on a project of constitutional reform totally rejected by the President. It can also be activated when there is discrepancy between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch. This tool was used in 1989 to carry out a series of reforms on the Chilean constitution that were established after arduous negotiations between Pinochet and the Coordination of Parties for Democracy. Approximately 7 100 000 citizens voted in favor, and endorsed the reforms with 85.7% of the votes. As a result of this, Law 18.825 was declared.

Institutional design


Formalization: is the innovation embedded in the constitution or legislation, in an administrative act, or not formalized at all?

Frequency: how often does the innovation take place: only once, sporadically, or is it permanent or regular?

Mode of Selection of Participants: is the innovation open to all participants, access is restricted to some kind of condition, or both methods apply?

Type of participants: those who participate are individual citizens, civil society organizations, private stakeholders or a combination of those?

Decisiveness: does the innovation takes binding, non-binding or no decision at all?

Co-governance: is there involvement of the government in the process or not?

embedded in the constitution/legislation 
Mode of selection of participants
Type of participants
democratic innovation yields a binding decision  


  • Deliberation
  • Direct Voting
  • E-Participation
  • Citizen Representation


  • Accountability
  • Responsiveness
  • Rule of Law
  • Political Inclusion
  • Social Equality

Policy cycle

Agenda setting
Formulation and decision-making
Policy Evaluation

How to quote

Do you want to use the data from this website? Here’s how to cite:

Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2017). LATINNO Dataset. Berlin: WZB.

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