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The Crisis of the State and Indigenous-Plebeian Uprisings in Bolivia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights the understanding of the state as the 'common self ' within a society's system of freedoms. When the three components (matrix of social forces, the system of institutions, and the system of mobilising beliefs) of the political life of a country show vitality and function regularly, we can speak of an optimal correspondence between state-regime and society. When some or all of these factors become irreparably stagnant, diluted or broken, we are faced with a crisis of the state, manifested in the divorce and antagonism between the political world and its institutions and the flux of civil-society organisations' activity. This is precisely what has been happening in Bolivia over the last three years. Paraphrasing Braudel, we can say that today there is both a 'longue durée' and a 'short-term' crisis of the state-structure. A revolutionary period is precisely what characterises the current political situation in Bolivia.

Keywords: Bolivia; crisis of state; revolutionary period



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