NCCR North-South Dialogue No. 36

by Gonzalo Rojas Ortuste and Christian Lunstedt Tapia
Bern, NCCR North-South 2011

This paper presents an account of the persistence of poverty and inequality in Bolivia and related efforts taken by the state. Its focus is on the current government headed by Evo Morales and the MAS with its strong reference to indigenous peoples. A historic perspective highlights continuities and disjunctures in Bolivia’s social and economic politics. The political and economic dimensions of the present process are documented, arguing that there is a challenge between the Pachamaman (Mother Earth) and vivir bien rhetoric and its realization in the social and economic sphere. Although plans are interesting, the core problem remains their successful implementation and management – the Bolivian bureaucracy has never been effective and efficient. There is also a certain tendency to disqualify critique of the present political process as conservative resistance to change.

Rojas Ortuste G, Lunstedt Tapia C. 2011. Contemporary Political and Socioeconomic Processes in Bolivia. NCCR North-South Dialogue 36 (Working Paper, Research Project 1 – Contested Rural Development). Bern and Zurich, Switzerland: NCCR North-South.


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