NCCR North-South Dialogue No. 43

by Stephan Rist, José Nuñez del Prado 
Bern, NCCR North-South 2012

From 1986 to 2005, Bolivia struggled under neoliberal policies. Local indigenous people – about 64% of the population – resisted and sought ways of organising beyond the system of representative democracy, which was dominated by white and mestizo elites. They developed indigenous social movements and expressed the need for a new “social contract” and constitution. Their main strategy was direct political action: marches, demonstrations, road blockings, hunger strikes, and mass mobilisation. A democratic “system change” finally occurred in 2005, when Evo Morales was elected as Bolivia’s first indigenous president. The change was consolidated via a radical new constitution enshrining a “plurinational state”, including autonomy for 36 indigenous nations within Bolivia’s state borders and co-governance of indigenous nations and state structures. Bolivia’s new societal setting also has consequences for its pursuit of the MDGs. This paper describes the implications of Bolivia’s transformation regarding the MDGs.

Rist S, Nuñez del Prado J. 2012. The MDGs in Bolivia: Poverty Reduction in a Post-neoliberal Area. NCCR North-South Dialogue 43 (Working Paper, Special Research Project 4 – Beyond the MDGs). Bern, Switzerland: NCCR North-South.


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