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Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia. Part III: Neoliberal Continuities, the Autonomist Right, and the Political Economy of Indigenous Struggle

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This article presents a broad analysis of the political economy and dynamics of social change during the first year (January 2006–January 2007) of the Evo Morales government in Bolivia. It situates this analysis in the wider historical context of left-indigenous insurrection between 2000 and 2005, the changing character of contemporary capitalism imperialism, and the resurgence of anti-neoliberalism and anti-imperialism elsewhere in Latin America. It considers at a general level the overarching dilemmas of revolution and reform. Part III examines the complexities of the politics of indigenous liberation and the political economy of the Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement Towards Socialism, MAS) government between January 2006 and January 2007. It pays special attention to the limits of reform in the hydrocarbons (natural gas and oil) sector. Also explained in Part III is the formation of an autonomist right-wing movement in the eastern lowlands, and how the new Right has intervened in the process of the Constituent Assembly. The article shows how the actual Constituent Assembly set into motion by the Morales administration in 2006 differs in fundamental terms from the revolutionary assembly envisioned by leading left-indigenous forces during the cycle of revolt in the first five years of this century.

Affiliations: 1: University of Toronto


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