Since their early days in government, and particularly since 2010, President Evo Morales and the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) in Bolivia have put forward a vision of state-centered hegemonic change. In this process, they play the role of a vanguard that relies on the extraction of natural resources, agro-industrial expansion, and the ideas of resource nationalism and development while maintaining the institutional structure of the pre-existing liberal nation-state. In contrast, many of the social actors that sustained the 2000–2005 insurrectionary mobilizations have challenged neoliberalism and its model of development and political representation, and the very legitimacy of the nation-state form. In its place, they offer a vision of plurinationality that seeks to ‘refound’ Bolivia through the recognition of the diversity–indigenous and non-indigenous–of cultures, economies, systems of social and political organization, and overall worldviews that co-exist in the country. One of the most important struggles within Bolivia today, and which clearly reveals the relationship between hegemony and plurinationality, revolves around the issue of indigenous autonomy. This article investigates the diversity of complex paths to autonomy based on fieldwork carried out in three indigenous majority municipalities.
- indigenous autonomy
- vivir bien