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The Struggle for Power in Bolivia

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Chapter Summary

Bolivia is experiencing the most intense period of socio-political struggle of at least the last fifty years, and perhaps the last hundred years. There are two central themes in the political struggle that are challenging the republican structure of the state. The first has to do with the role of the most influential socio-political actors in the country, basically the indigenous people. The second axis of the state's structural fracture is related to the transfer of the state's economic and political centres of decision-making, from one region (the northwest) to another (the east). In Bolivia, the struggle or the demand for autonomy and/or federalism goes back to the debates in the 1860s over the different proposals for federalism. The issue of autonomy and decentralisation was taken up again by the civic committees when democracy returned in 1982 and 1984.

Keywords: autonomy; Bolivia; crisis of state; political struggle; politico-administrative decentralisation



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