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Ethnic rights and the dilemma of extractive development in plurinational Bolivia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. University of Helsinki, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2581-2588
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Human Rights, ISSN 1364-2987, E-ISSN 1744-053X, Vol. 21, no 4, 464-481 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Bolivian constitution of 2009 has been classified as one of the most progressive in the world regarding indigenous rights. The indigenous principles of Suma Qamaña/Vivir Bien/Good Living on the harmonious relationship between humans and nature are established in the constitution. Nonetheless, these rights clash with the constitutionally recognised rights of the nation state to extract and commercialise natural resources (mainly hydrocarbons and mining) under the banner of redistributive justice, welfare reforms and the common good, in this study labelled the dilemma of extractive development. The article is based on ethnographic fieldwork and combines a political economy perspective on the extractive dilemma, while similarly examining the tensions between ethnically defined rights in relation to broader human rights in terms of values and norms related to welfare and conditions of living. The ethnic identity is multifaceted in Bolivia. Large segments of the indigenous population prefer to identify in class terms. The class-ethnicity tensions have altered throughout history, according to changing socio-economic, cultural and political settings. A central argument is that, during Evo Morales' presidency, class-based human rights in practice tend to be superior to the ethnically defined rights, as a reflection of the dilemma of extractive development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 21, no 4, 464-481 p.
Keyword [en]
Bolivia, constitutionalism, ethnic rights, extractivism, identity politics, indigeneity, indigenous peoples, resource governance, social rights
National Category
Sociology Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129964DOI: 10.1080/13642987.2016.1179869ISI: 000418502400004OAI: diva2:926435
Rights of Nature - Nature of Rights. Neo-Constitutionalism and Ethno-Ecologist Resistance in Bolivia and Ecuador
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2012-1828
Available from: 2016-05-06 Created: 2016-05-06 Last updated: 2018-01-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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