WWW.DISSERTATION.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:   || 2 | 3 |

«Martin Nilsson BOLIVIA UNDER THE LEFT-WING PRESIDENCY OF EVO MORALES—INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THE END OF POSTCOLONIALISM? ABSTRACT: This ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 

INTERDISCIPLINARY POLITICAL AND CULTURAL JOURNAL, Vol. 15, No. 1/2013 

35–48, DOI: 10.2478/ipcj‐2013‐0003 

Martin Nilsson

BOLIVIA UNDER THE LEFT-WING PRESIDENCY

OF EVO MORALES—INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THE END

OF POSTCOLONIALISM?

ABSTRACT: This article explores the development in Bolivia under president Evo Morales, through a critical postcolonial approach. From a traditional liberal perspective, this article concludes that the liberal democratic system under Morales has not been deepening, though certain new participatory aspects of democracy, including socio-economic reforms have been carried out. In contrast, this article analyses to what extent the presidency of Evo Morales may be seen as the end of the postcolonialism, and the beginning of a new era in which Bolivia’s indigenous people finally have been incorporated into the forward development of a multi-ethnic society. By analysing issues such as time, nation, land, space, globalization and language, the conclusion is that the new constitution marks a fresh beginning, one beyond the colonial and postcolonial eras, for indigenous groups, but it will not bring back the old indigenous societies as was dominating the territory of today’s modern state.

KEY WORDS: Bolivia, postcolonialism, indigenous people, democracy, socio- economic development.

Introduction By 2009, as many as fourteen presidencies in Latin America were held by the political left. In Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, and El   Linnaeus  University,  Senior  Lecturer  /  Head  of  Political  Science,  Linnaeus  University, Department of Political Science, 35195, Växjö, Sweden, E‐mail: martin.nilsson  @lnu.se.     This  article has  been  sponsored  by  Linnaeus  University  Centre  for  Concurrences  in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Linnaeus University.    [33]  34 Martin Nilsson Salvador, the reformist and social-democratic presidents have attempted to enact liberal democracy, with modest social and economic reforms. However, in other Latin American countries, such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, the presidents have been far more radical, challenging or trying to challenge the existing political, social, and global economic order (Katz; Walker;

Moreno-Brid and Paunovic). These governments are considered radical for several reasons: one is the promotion of radical socioeconomic agendas and how democracy is understood as a concept; in reality, it is the ambition to deepen democracy through peoples’ participation in the political and socio-economic spheres. This stands in sharp contrast to the liberal representative democratic tradition and its focus on elections, political rights, and vertical and horizontal accountability (see Dahl).

Bolivia’s political development differs somewhat, mainly because the Bolivian left remains strongly supportive of its indigenous people’s claims to restore their legacy after several hundred years of colonization and postcolonisation. After independence in the early nineteenth century, the legacy of the former Spanish colonial political and socio-cultural order was taken over by white or mestizo landlords, capitalists and the military, and this postcolonial approach endured until the 2000s.

In late 2005 this finally changed, when Evo Morales, a former coca-peasant from one of the major indigenous groups, won the presidency. Morales represented the former social movement, Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS, Movement for Socialism), which quickly became the country’s most important political party.

Morales and MAS secured victory by forming a coalition of supporters, including indigenous peasants, miners, landless peasants, and indigenous movements, and by promoting cultural, civil and social rights. These supporters shared a common hostile view of western globalization, capitalism, and neoliberalism, but lacked any larger representation before the emergence of MAS (Postero, Anria). After Morales took office, a call for a sociocultural and democratic revolution was made, demanding the nationalization of gas and oil, sweeping agrarian and land reforms, and the creation of a constitutional assembly that could create a more equitable constitution for all citizens in Bolivia— particularly its indigenous people. Morales’ objectives could be seen as attempts to bring land, resources, and national identity back to the state enjoyed prior to the colonial and postcolonial periods.

35 Bolivia under the Left-wing Presidency of Evo Morales… A great amount of previous research on the Latin American and Bolivian political left has focused on issues such as the definition and classifications of the leftist governments: populist, participatory, radical, social-democratic, or the nationalist left (e.g. Castañeda; Walker; Katz; Moreno-Brid, and Paunovic), the left wave as a phenomenon (Castañeda, and Morales), the leadership related to populism, different topics and cases related to the left (e.g. Cameron and Sharpe), and the outcome of leftist policies, their relation to democracy, and a few about the role played by indigenous people (e.g.Lupien; Valdivia; Kohl and Bresnahan). But analysis of the left’s ambition to restore the legacy of the indigenous people role in Bolivian society and the outcome of this process remains so far relatively underexplored.





In order to be able to conduct this, a postcolonial critical approach will be used. Therefore, the aim of this article is to analyse to what extent to the presidency of Evo Morales may be seen as the end of the postcolonial period, and the beginning of a new era in which the voice and socio-cultural demands of Bolivia’s indigenous people finally have been incorporated into the forward development of a multi-ethnic society.

Background: Deepening Democracy under Morales—from a Traditional Liberal View The second most radical and controversial case of the left in Latin America, after Chávez’ Venezuela, has so far been Bolivia (Walker; Maxwell and Sharpe). In late 2005, Evo Morales won the presidency, and the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) became the most important political actor. The background of Morales and MAS’s victory is that they managed to form a coalition of supporters, including indigenous peasants, miners, landless peasants, and indigenous movements, claiming cultural and civil rights. They all share a common hostile view of globalization and neoliberalism, and lack any larger representation before MAS began to succeed (Postero; Anria). After Morales took office, a call for a socio-cultural and democratic revolution was made proclaiming nationalization of gas and oil, agrarian and land reforms, and that a constitutional assembly would create a more equal constitution.

As in the case of Venezuela, Morales initiated reforms of the political system through the game of the liberal institutional 36 Martin Nilsson setting when a new constitution was introduced. After the landslide victory in 2005, an election to a constitutional assembly to rewrite the constitution was held. However, since MAS lacked the required two-third majority to vote for the outcome, the majority of MAS decided that each article would pass with a simple majority, but that the draft of the entire constitution still needed two-thirds majority. In December 2007, the elected constitutional assembly, with the majority of the MAS, voted for major changes to the constitution: The changes would establish both direct and indirect democratic institutions, and Bolivia was about to become an official multi-ethnic country, in which social reforms was supposed to be financed by the national mineral resources. According to Postero (“The Struggle to Create a Radical Democracy in Bolivia” 67), however, some critical voices, mainly from the political right and its allies such as landlords, entrepreneurs and other rich people, were raised on how the constitutional process was run (see also Anria, De la FuenteJeria, Valdivia, Rocabado). As a consequence, some of the richer regions held referendums that resulted in proclaiming autonomous regional status.

However, these referendums were not recognized by the central government or by the judicial system; this was followed by demonstrations and uprising against the Morales administration.

The problem was now how to succeed with the constitutional work, since a new constitution by the law needed two-thirds majority pass. A majority of the opposition was against most parts of the constitution meanwhile the regional prefects, in addition, demanded to move the capital from La Paz to the historical capital of Sucre. For a while, it looked like that the constitutional process would end. But after several months of death lock, Morales used a constitutional weapon when he launched recall referendums about his presidency and the regional prefects. Morales won the referendum and several opposition leaders lost. According to Cameron and Sharpe (72) this changed the balance of power in Bolivia; from now on, the leaders of the opposition in Congress, and the regions were more or less forced to negotiate a new draft of the constitution. Finally, on January 2009 the constitution was approved in a referendum by over a sixty percentage margin (Postero, “The Struggle to Create a Radical Democracy in Bolivia” 67).

As a contrast to for example Venezuela where the liberal democratic institutions have eroded in the 2000s, the leftist government under Morales has so far not contributed to 37 Bolivia under the Left-wing Presidency of Evo Morales… decreasing civil and political rights in Bolivia, nor have any major military coups taken place against the democratically elected government. Though there had been periods of social unrest since Morales took office, such as during the constitutional debate in 2008, and in 2010-11 when some subsidies of gas were decreased, there has been no real attempt of coups, or similar uncivil actions (Anria, Valdivia, Kohl and Bresnahan, Kohl). Nor has there been any decline of liberal democratic institutions, such as civil and political rights.

The key question is, however, to what extent the Morales administration has deepen democracy, and to what extent one could criticize the democratic path. In accordance with the liberal democratic tradition, the voters have continued to vote for Morales and MAS in the completely free fair elections in the constitutional assembly 2006, the recall referendum in 2008, and in the referendum for a new constitution in 2009, and in the presidential-, and Congress elections in 2009. Regard to Freedom House’s (2005-2012) index of liberal institutions—civil and political rights, Bolivia is considered as a young democracy, but the recent reports shows that civil and political rights have been stable around 3 (on the scale: 1-7) during the Morales administration. It is the same when Morales assumed office.

Regard the horizontal accountability, according to Anria, the congress has weakened its position, but this has to do with the crisis of the party system and the weak and unorganized opposition, rather than as a result of illegal actions taken by the Evo Morale’s presidency.

Though the old liberal democratic institutions remain relatively intact in Bolivia, but as we will see the new constitution has broaden and widening the scope of the democratic system, including more opportunities for participation as well as other radical socio-economic initiatives (Montambeault, Lupien, Kohl, Regalsky). In the new constitution, democracy is defined as a combination of direct participatory democracy and indirect representative liberal democracy. Participation takes place through actions such as referenda, citizens’ initiatives and prior consultations, while representative democracy is practiced through the regular elections. The new constitution also recognizes departmental autonomy as well as municipal, provincial, and indigenous autonomy. When it comes to economic issues it is stated that Bolivia will have a mixed economy with both 38 Martin Nilsson ownership of the state, communes, and private people. It means for example also that natural resources such as gas, oil and water will be administrated in the collective interest through the state.

Finally, in addition, the constitution gives the people several social rights to water, food, education, health care and other basic socio-economic conditions.

To summarize, as a result, in accordance with the western liberal tradition, the constitution includes the possibility to deepen democracy, both directly through institutions, but it also gives the possibility for radical reform policies, in accordance with the core content of the new constitution. Though the liberal democratic system has not been developed during the Morales administration, the new constitution and other policies taken have created several mechanisms to increase participation as parallel to the existing democratic system. But the question is how this all relates to the issue about the indigenous people’s demand to restore their historical legacy.

Postcolonialism and the Question about Indigenous People

According to Young (2003), a postcolonial status was reached when the former colonial territories received independence in Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, the world did not change very much as a result, and in most cases the same former colonial powers or elites continued to dominate the former colonies after independence. The new, autonomous countries continued to be highly connected to Europe and North America, particularly in regards to capitalism and liberal democracy. This postcolonial approach criticizes the western way of thinking in which developing countries are viewed as being composed of homogeneous people and cultures (Said, Chakrabarty). Quite often this insular view has reduced all countries outside the western powers into a collective third world, or developing world, sharing the same characteristics and facing the same obstacles.



Pages:   || 2 | 3 |


Similar works:

«ISSN: 2320-5407 Int. J. Adv. Res. 4(10), 1508-1512 Journal Homepage: www.journalijar.com Article DOI: 10.21474/IJAR01/1956 DOI URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.21474/IJAR01/1956 RESEARCH ARTICLE MOLECULAR EVALUATION OF MMP9 IN IRAQI BREAST CANCER PATIENTS. Sammar Faisal Jaafer and Asstant Prof. Dr. Ismail Hussein Aziz. Institute of genetic engineering and biotechnology for postgraduate studies Baghdad University.... Manuscript Info Abstract... Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer...»

«Amícola, José Dossier / Cortázar Cortázar : 'The smiler with the knife under the cloak' Orbis Tertius 2000, Año IV, Nro. 7, p. 169-185. Este documento está disponible para su consulta y descarga en Memoria Académica, el repositorio institucional de la Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata, que procura la reunión, el registro, la difusión y la preservación de la producción científico-académica édita e inédita de los miembros de...»

«UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION 8410 West Bryn Mawr Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60631 Phone: (773) 399-8900 Fax: (773) 399-8936 16MAR201514321126 April 7, 2015 Dear Fellow Shareholders: You are cordially invited to attend the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders (‘‘2015 Annual Meeting’’) of United States Cellular Corporation (‘‘U.S. Cellular’’) on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at 8:00 a.m., central time, at The Pfister Hotel, 424 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the...»

«112th Congress DOCUMENT ! SENATE 2nd Session No. 112–9 THE CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION Centennial Edition INTERIM EDITION: ANALYSIS OF CASES DECIDED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES TO JUNE 27, 2016 PREPARED BY THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE LIBRARY CONGRESS OF MICHAEL J. GARCIA KATE M. MANUEL ANDREW NOLAN ATTORNEY EDITORS MEGHAN TOTTEN LEGAL EDITOR U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 59–309 WASHINGTON : 2016 Online Version:...»

«MINNETONKA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT #276 Service Center 5621 County Road 101 Minnetonka, Minnesota Minutes of March 1, 2012 School Board Meeting The School Board of Minnetonka Independent School District #276 met in regular session at 7:17 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, 2012, in the Community Room at the District Service Center, 5621 County Road 101, Minnetonka, Minnesota. Chairperson Karen Walkowski presided. Other Board members present were: Erin Adams, Charlie Kanan, Peg Keenan, Pam Langseth,...»

«VICTOR A. FRIEDMAN (Chicago) Macedonian Dialectology and Eurology: Areal and Typological Perspectives Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung Vol. 61, No. 2, 2008. 139-146. Abstract The relationship between areal linguistics and typology can be illuminated and clarified by Macedonian dialectology, especially in the context of Balkan linguistics. This is especially important in analyses of the Balkan linguistic league, which, as an areal phenomenon, should be seen in historical perspective. On...»

«EUROPEAN UNION CONSOLIDATED TREATIES CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS MARCH 2010 EN EN 30.3.2010 Official Journal of the European Union C 83/1 T E U CONSOLIDATED VERSIONS T F E U OF THE TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION AND Pr + THE TREATY ON THE FUNCTIONING An OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ********** CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION D e c l C h a r t. Note to the reader This brochure contains the consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and of the Treaty on the Functioning of the...»

«A Spy’s Guide to Thinking by John Braddock www.spysguide.com This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. Copyright © 2015 John Braddock. All rights reserved. Including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof, in any form. No part of this text may be...»

«EUROPEAN COMMISSION Brussels, 4.5.2016 COM(2016) 278 final REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL Third Report on progress by Turkey in fulfilling the requirements of its visa liberalisation roadmap {SWD(2016) 161 final} EN EN 1. INTRODUCTION The European Union (the EU) launched the Visa Liberalisation Dialogue (VLD) with Turkey on 16 December 2013, in parallel with the signature of the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement.1 The VLD is based on the Roadmap towards a...»

«Annual Results 2013 ANALYSTS PRESENTATION Held at the offices of the Company 280 Bishopsgate London EC2N 4RB on Thursday 27th February 2014 FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This transcript includes certain statements regarding our assumptions, projections, expectations, intentions or beliefs about future events. These statements constitute “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution that these statements may and often do vary...»

«CROSS-DRESSED POETICS: LESSONS AND LIMITS OF GENDER TRANSGRESSIONS IN BRAZILIAN POPULAR MUSIC By LUCIANA C. MONTEIRO A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007 1 © 2007 Luciana C. Monteiro 2 To my parents, Sylvio and Marisa 3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First, I would like to thank my committee members, Dr. Efraín Barradas and Dr. Tace Hedrick, for their kind guidance and for...»

«090514 Chapter 2.5: Risk Communication in the 21st Century Extended Enterprise Andy Bulgin The Importance of Risk Communication This chapter provides a definition of risk communication, and considers how best to avoid language and terminology which might impact on communication effectiveness. Through the chapter we will review the characteristics of 21st century extended enterprises which make effective communication challenging and consider ways to utilise recent social media channels as...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.