Process of Change in Bolivia

In order to explore the change in political and economic development in Bolivia, seven arguments have been used which could be helpful in explaining the institutional change which focus on the rise of indigenous economy, plurinational government and national capitalism, along with the changing patterns of social organization in the light of different indigenous and non-indigenous factors. Bolivia, which is also referred as to plurinational country has a rich history of fight for the independence and has a rich history of pre-colonial and colonial period before the sovereignty arrangement. The pre-colonial history is followed by the advent of Aymara people which resulted in the development of Tiwanaku culture in Western Bolivia. The Spanish conquest started in the beginning of the 16th century. By the end of the 16th century, the Bolivian resources of silver were crucial sources for the Spanish Empire. The mainstream has served as the major force of the Spanish version of draft system, which is called mita. Tupac Katari caused the rebellion in 1781 followed by the death of over 20,000 people. The beginning of the nineteenth century has been marked by the Revolution, which led to the independent and emergence of the local government. The brief history shows the evident institutional changes in cultural, economic, and political terms, and the comparative analysis will help analyze the leading factors, such as economic structure, cultural diversity, and social constructs, which has shaped the current image of the country.


Self-Directed Institutional Change

To understand the shifts which has been experienced by the Bolivian government recently, it is necessary to develop the role through which popular mobilization and collective action has been developed for the second half of the past century. It should be stressed that Bolivia is distinguished in Latin America for the assertiveness and power of social movements, which achieve social conquests, as well as experiences in the past control of the present.

World View

Frequent uprisings helped the country to pave the path to the election of the current president Evo Morales, the fist indigenous representative who took the countrys main office. The leader promised to integrate the long-overdue anti-imperialist and social shift to the country that is rich in resources, but has high rates of poverty. The indigenous and campesino movements in the 2000s are currently aligned with the MAS movement and the Presidents political party. In the lead-up of the current election, the support was evident in the neighborhood council offices, where the campaign for the movement was distributed, and compesino confederation from La Paz blanketed office headquarters. While talking about the movement leaders, it is evident that the support was not even. The majority of the movements supported Morales, but they were critical regarding the right-wing politicians under the auspices of the MAS. Close alliance with the government caused the corruption scandal which related to different indigenous and campesino movement leaders who has been accused of shadowing government funds which were initially created for the community projects.

Differentiation of Culture and Instructional Order

The cultural changes and diversity in Bolivia will be considered in the light of the legal and political changes to the instructional order in the country. To enlarge on the issue, the integration of the new constitution is a sort of wider development of the new constitutionalism in the region, which embraces many emancipator elements similar to the increased acknowledgement of the social rights of minority sectors of community, along with the empowered mechanisms and fractures of the participatory democracy. However, the executive branch amplified the political structure in Bolivia, and the confrontation process during the legal changes did not end with the introduction of the new constitution. Specifically, the subsequent months over hundred new Laws could be presented along with the political and legal order has to be developed for constructing the new plurinational country with departmental and indigenous autonomies. In 2009, the new constitution has been developed in Bolivia that is followed by the long history of fight for the economic, political, and social stability in the country.

In 2007, the constituent assembly has presented the proposal for the New Constitution. However, the opposition made it difficult for introducing the referendum until the movement when parliament has introduced changes to the proposed Constitution accepted in the end of 2008. The government reaches concession to minimize the opposition. From the cultural perspective, the new Constitution reflects Bolivia as the pluri-national country that acknowledges indigenous rights in the transversal dimension. It is also evident that indigenous symbols, languages, land rights, political and judicial systems, and land rights have also been considered in the new legal document. Most importantly, the constitution has recognized cultural diversity and the rights of the indigenous community, which is the major breakthrough in terms of cultural differentiation and institutional distribution of the powers and responsibilities. The constitution has not been confined to the declaration of the above-presented rights, but also for the insurance of the actual implementations. Other reforms have included the introduction of indigenous and departmental autonomies, empowering the importance of the country in the economic activity, and finally, the development and acceptance of the role of the civil society in Bolivian country.

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Institutional Differentiation

The World Bank has accentuated political stabilization and introduced the institutionalization of the political issues in Bolivia. The purpose of the successful governments since 1980s till our days aimed at creating an investment-friendly setting and macroeconomic stability required for attracting foreign investment. Additionally, the purpose was accepted by the majority of the political parties. For about twenty years, the partiices across the political environment fostered the privatization of the public sector, austerity measures, and neoliberal structural adjustments. In the course of the pre-election campaigns, the majority of the parties supported the electoral program and focuses on neoliberal activities; at the same time, these policies were not implemented, but neoliberal measures have been presented on the concealed agenda. Additionally, there was no serious discourse between the labor unions and the government.

In general, neoliberalism has provided the political space for the development of dynamic social activities. Since the second wave of social reforms in the mid 1990s, the social revolution promoted the shifts in the governmental actions regarding the problem of constantly increased poverty and peasant marginalization. With reliance on these circumstances, President Lozada has introduced the so-called Popular Participation program which developed the decentralization in the country, offering local communities to form their own resource management initiatives. During the 2000-2005 period, the social movements have evolved significantly.The shifts in institutional structure have also imposed certain influences on the current picture of the Bolivian governmental framework and social development. Since the emergence of the independent structure in the country, many constitutional and governmental shifts have been integrated. Specifically, when Evo Morales took the office of the president of Bolivia, the country has for the first time witnesses a variety of social changes during the process of governmental formation. Such a shift has also triggered changes in the political frameworks to those who implemented the public policy. Such deliberations introduce new schemes of managing the environment, as well as provide underpinnings for subsequent changes. Similar to the past shifts happened in 1972 and 1952, the current changes introduced unexpected choice for those who participated actively in social movements. Some movements were engaged in the process of governmental formation, particularly those who were linked to the social movement, whereas other movements strived to sustain the distance relationship with the government because of the concern with the engagement, which can lead to the loss of the sovereignty of the social class. During the first period of Morales reign, the tensions have been reduced because of the emergence of the new constitution, which allow all classes to reach a consensus and agree certain historic controversies.

Political Colonialism

The political landscape of Bolivia has been split into two major historic period the colonial era, when the territory has been conquered by the Spanish invaders and the post-colonial era, when the independence has been introduced in the country in the beginning of the eighteenth century. The invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by Napoleon in 1807 led to the failure of the Spanish authority, leading to the radical changes and a sequence of important revolutions in the country. As a result of the confrontation with French conquistadors, it will be possible to initiate the struggle between the different classes in the community. In such a way, the country government was forced to introduce subsequent political changes which would meet the requirements of the constantly developing community in Bolivia.

Economic Market Incorporation

In the 1980s, the country witnessed the most destructive economic crisis which had imposed tangible changes to the subsequent three decades. The economy has established the economic balance of payment along with the deficits and foreign improvements. The 1985 presidential race initiated the competition between the former military leader Banzer, and MNR founder Paz Estenssoro. The confrontation of the political powers was aimed at achieving the economic stabilization, which were implemented in the Latin American during that time. As a result of the economic lapses, the government has realized that the shifts in the rural sector is essential to place an emphasis on the agricultural sector and change the outlook on the management of the current economic, and political systems.

Cultural Exchange

Cultural exchange is another important shift which has been highlighted in the light of the changes in the country. To enlarge on the issue, the government has paid specific attention to the indigenous population and its contribution to the enrichment of culture in Bolivia, as well as to the establishment of new contacts and collaboration with other cultures within the country and abroad. The arrangement of multiple festivals, events, and spots aimed at sharing cultural experience has become the leading issue and provided the new schemes for the development of new cultural ties and international relationships.

Community Consensus and Social-Political Movements 

Due to the specifics of the geographic position and mountainous landscape, Bolivia was initially been split into small communities, indigenous locations, which lived under different climate conditions, social orders, and cultural norms. The Altiplano amounts to 4,000 meters above the sea, where the major part of the population has developed the agricultural potential during the pre-Colonial era. It is also the region where llamas and sheep are brought. Before the second part of the 1900s, there were privately owned establishments, which made use of semi-servile workforce. According to the 1950s data, over 70 % of the population was rural, premised on the departments located in Altiplano, including La Paz, Potosi, and Oruro, as well as fertile Andeal regions. The imposed shifts to the system have been established in the 1940s, especially in the region of Cochabamba valley which witnessed frequent land invasions by peasants. Both the structure of landholding and insufficient economy create a critical situation, leading to the inequality in landholding in Latin America. Furthermore, haciendas made use of small sectors of lands for agricultural purposes. However, the 1952 revolution has led to the use of the new servile labor force, resulting in the immediate redistribution of agricultural sectors officially presented in 1953 reform. Therefore, the attentions to these schemes are essential for promoting the shift in the community distribution.

Diversity of Capitalism and Economy: Subsistence, National, and Corporate

Due to the presence of indigenous and rural ratio of the population, the constitutional change was inevitable, requiring the re-foundation of the state and de-colonization process. Their purposes have been associated with the legal traditions of the country, which originated specifically from the French Constitutionalism and Roman Law. The legal tradition had been presented on the basis of homogenizing and mono-cultural state model. Furthermore, the syndical and indigenous organizations of the state have been directed at surpassing the neoliberal economic structures accepted in Bolivia for the purpose of decreasing social inequality. The traditional elite community was against the crucial changes accepted by the new government, because of the development of the New Constitution. Recently, there has been little power afforded for this layer of the population, forcing them to move back to the regional governments for improving political and economic powers at those levels. Furthermore, the traditional position in Bolivia presented the central demand for the development of the New Constitution of the departmental authorities endowed with in-depth responsibilities. The fact that the new governmental movement succeeded in regional areas which are contain the major resources of natural gas, which is not regarded as coincidence. The constitutional shifts could be represented as the contribution for hegemony and for the economic and political power at regional and national level, in which numerous interests could be controversial.

The Emergence and Implications of Plurinational Self-Government

As it can be seen, social movements to different extents have prevailed in terms of powerful and direct influence on the states politics. Although political culture is challengeable to define, the legal dimensions of the history influence the way people understand the present, as well as the way they perceive the role of social movements in shaping the political process. The strength of social organization allows the country to survive in repeated attempts to develop different points regarding the underpinning of the civil society emergences and the associated weaknesses of the country in offering its agenda on organized workforce aimed at retaining the sovereignty of action. Self-government was an essential step for the indigenous and elite groups to promote new ideas and strengthening the regional power. In such a manner, it will also be possible to eliminate previous weaknesses and provide the new framework and course of action.

One of the most notifying events was the 1952 National Revolution marked by the rise of mineworkers and other workforce sectors in the middle class against the elite-induced system of authorities. According to the authors, the 1952 revolution...was a consequence of the process of social change that had been taking place in the country over several decades, particularly since disastrous Chaco War against Paraguay. (1932-35), which acted as a catalyst for social mobilization and demonstrated with brutal clarity the ineffectiveness and corruption of the ancient regime. Thus, the revolution has been the reason for the nationalization of the property, as well as the establishment of the Corporacion Minera de Bolivia, the miners and their union because of the powerful actors in the light of the countrys politics. Hence, the revolution has split the history of Bolivia into two major parts, as well as develops confrontation between the middle class and the government. Since then, a range of shifts has occurred, leading to the improvements in social and political dimensions. The attention should also be given to the development of subsequent reforms and changes.

Significant Patterns of Cultural Change as Well as Continuity

As it has been mentioned above, the cultural aspect plays an important role in enriching the political and economic landscape in the country. What is more important is that government has made resolute steps in establishing the interaction between cultures within the country. It specifically concerns indigenous and elite groups which could co-exist for the purpose of improving the social and ethnic landscape in Bolivia.

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Consensual Community Organization in both Ayllu and Social Movements

As Crabtree and Chaplin explain, the agrarian reform gave way to a system of small-scale production in minifundious, organized around peasant communities that resembled the traditional indigenous ayllus, but which were organized as agrarian ayllus syndicators by the governments at the time. As a result, the peasant population became of the major social props of the military regions. The official insisted on the campesinos rather than on indigenous people, although the majority of the campesinos were indigenous. The problem of the land division consisted in the colonization process which led to the massive migrations of families from one region of Altiplano to establish the agricultural sports in the subtropical regions of the country. These policies, however, did not provide tangible improvements for those who became the large-scale products, developing partly for developing the urban market, as well as for personal profits. Insufficient access to capital, encountered with governmental policies, which promoted agricultural business, did not provide any success for the economic development of Bolivia after the 1952 Revolution. Rises in the population, to crawl it all, has led to the increased stratification of land, migration, and movement of certain indigenous groups abroad. Specific attention should be paid to the ayllus and syndicators dating back to the 1980s. In fact, the author assume, the reconstruction of ayllus...involved communal ownership of land, with families usually assigned plots in different areas of production, worked on a rotational basis. As it can be seen, the introduction of the ownership activities has promote new underpinnings for interaction based on the production process.

General Conclusion

With reliance on the above-presented information, it could be acknowledged that Bolivia has performed significant breakthrough in cultural, political, and economic terms. To begin with, the cultural terms involve the reconciliation of different cultural existed in the country, which associated with the presence of indigenous groups, pre-colonial ethnic groups, and modern cultures derived from the constant communication and interaction in the country. In political terms, the government has managed to promote new constitutional rights for indigenous population and place an emphasis on the decentralization of power, imposing new responsibilities for the municipal authorizes. Finally, the economic dimension has undergone tangible shifts, leading to the rise of new improvements in terms of the agricultural sectors, which contributed to the elimination of the economic crisis. All these dimensions have been combined with the introduction of the new constitution and the election of the first indigenous leader, which has complemented the entire picture of multiple changes in the country. In the future, Bolivia would definitely introduce more results and shifts aimed at stabilizing the situation and expanding on the power of the economic, executive, and legal branches within the governmental structure. The sustainability of the economic development will also provide new dimensions for managing all areas of social life.

Jan 18, 2021 in Socioligy
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