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John Crabtree | Ann Chaplin


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Since Evo Morales was elected president in 2006 as leader of the MAS, the first social movement to achieve political power in Latin America, Bolivia has seen radical changes and continues to generate huge interest worldwide. In this revealing new book, Crabtree and Chaplin show how ordinary people have responded to the processes of change that have taken place in the country over the last few years. Based on a wealth of interview material and original reportage, the book enters the terrain of grassroots politics, identifying how Bolivians work within the country's social movements and how they view the effects that this participation has achieved. It asks how they see their lives as being altered - for better or for worse - by this experience, as well as how they evaluate the experience of becoming politically involved, often for the first time. This unique bottom-up analysis explores the often complex relationship between Bolivia's people, social movements and the state, highlighting both the achievements and limitations of the MAS administration. In doing so, it casts important new light both on the nature of the Bolivian 'experiment' and its implications for participatory politics in other parts of the developing world.
John Crabtree is a research associate at the Latin American Centre, Oxford, and senior member of St Antony's College. His main area of expertise is the contemporary politics of the Andean region, on which he has written and broadcast widely. His most recent books include Fractured Politics: Peruvian Democracy Past and Present (2011) and Unresolved Tensions: Bolivia Past and Present (2008), co-edited with Laurence Whitehead. In 2005 he published Patterns of Protest: Politics and Social Movements in Bolivia. He holds a masters degree from Liverpool University and a doctorate from Oxford Brookes University. Ann Chaplin has lived and worked in Bolivia and the Andes for many years. She has worked in development, relating closely to social movements, and has been a witness to their advances. She has written recently on the development of social movements and the impact of climate change on rural communities.
'John Crabtree and Ann Chaplin write with that clarity and quiet authority bestowed by many years' experience. Their knowledge of Bolivia since the era of military dictatorships shows up here not in dense factual detail or political criticism. Rather, it is reflected in their skilled ability to capture, through scores of interviews undertaken throughout the country, a really telling snapshot of the popular experience of recent years. They show how the period since 2006 has been one of many complications and disputes but also of extensive social change and cultural excitement. Sympathetic but independently minded, the authors have given us a most valuable and accessible survey of Bolivia under Evo Morales.' James Dunkerley, Queen Mary, University of London 'An excellent introduction to the turbulent politics of Evo Morales' Bolivia. Indigenous empowerment and swelling state revenues are today accompanied by new conflicts, skillfully analysed by the authors. Moving between several regions and sectors, they transmit views from social actors at the base, arguing that the growth in social inclusion is irreversible.' Tristan Platt, University of St Andrews 'Crabtree and Chapin provide an insightful guide to the ''processes of change'' in Bolivia under the Morales government. This book is extremely useful both for students and scholars of Bolivia and for those interested in understanding the unfolding of social-movement-induced change in Latin America today.' Denise Humphreys Bebbington, Clark University 'Evo Morales has gone from hungry youngster in the Andes to president of his country with all the concentrated energy that only those born poor such as he seem to find. Bolivia's stories are marshalled here by two accomplished writers with expertise and flair.' Hugh O'Shaughnessy, author of The Priest of Paraguay and prize-winning journalist who has written on Latin America for over 4 decades.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
About the authors i
Title page iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
Prologue vi
Map xii
Introduction: Popular Organization and the Processes of Change 1
Conclusions 15
1 | Land, Campesinos and Indígenas 16
Visions of development 18
Indigenous rights and the constitution 23
Saneamiento, land titling and redistribution 26
Breakdown of the Pacto 29
Conclusions 32
2 | The Altiplano: Sindicatos versus Ayllus 36
Agrarian reform and beyond 36
Of ayllus and sindicatos 39
Living standards in the Altiplano 47
Inclusion 50
Conclusions 52
3 | El Alto: A City of Migrants 54
Popular power and participation 60
Living standards, employment and the economy 65
Towards a more inclusive society? 69
Conclusions 73
4 | Of Mines and Miners 75
Changes in structure 78
The workings of cooperatives 81
Mining unions 86
Industrialization 88
Conclusions 90
5 | Of Coca and Cocaleros 93
The war on coca 95
Trends in coca production 99
Living conditions in the Chapare 103
Organization and living standards in the Yungas 105
Conclusions 108
6 | Of Gas, Rents and Indigenous Movements of the Chaco 110
Two worlds superimposed 111
The impact of gas on Tarija 115
Experiences of indigenous advance 119
Political and economic change since 2006 124
Conclusions 128
7 | Santa Cruz and the Process of Change 130
The development of Santa Cruz 130
Changes in the structure of power 135
The changing face of agriculture 139
The other side of town 145
Conclusions 149
8 | The Amazonian North 152
On the frontier 153
Brazil nuts 155
Saneamiento and land titling 158
Social organization 161
Emporium of the north 165
Presence of the state 167
Conclusions 170
9 | Conclusions 173
Interviewees 183
Further reading 186
Index 188