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Citizenship and Democracy in Bolivia (1900–98)

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Chapter Summary

Citizenship requires an uninterrupted ritual of seduction and adhesion between state and 'civil society', in addition to fluid internal deals and compromises. In any case, citizenship is the process of producing the content and the form of the political rights of a given social structure. Through citizenship, society lays bare its capacity and its incompetence to manage collective affairs, but the state, too, exposes itself, in its material consistency, in order to co-opt the initiatives promoted by 'civil society'. To date, the political history of Bolivia includes at least three moments of legitimate citizenship-construction, in which these multiple social dimensions have been put into play. Caste-citizenship, in contrast, is a type of social politicisation that deliberately excludes the majority of society, the Indians, from the hope of sharing the benefit of political rights. Democracy takes on the common-sense meaning of union-practice with the purpose of influencing the government.

Keywords: Bolivia; caste-citizenship; corporatist citizenship; democracy; irresponsible citizenship

10.1163/9789004254442_004
/content/books/b9789004254442_004
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