IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/gig/wpaper/141.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bolivia’s New Constitution: Towards Participatory Democracy and Political Pluralism?

Author

Listed:
  • Almut Schilling-Vacaflor

    ()

Abstract

In Bolivia, rights to increased political participation and the recognition of indigenous political systems are interrelated. The new constitution of 2009, a prime example of the “new Andean constitutionalism,” defines Bolivia as a representative, participatory and communitarian democracy. It incorporates enhanced mechanisms and institutions for participatory democracy. Moreover, new social rights have been anchored in the constitution and a plurinational state is supposed to be constructed. The article raises the question of whether the new constitution will change the relations between state and civil society considerably and whether a new democratic model is being established in Bolivia. I argue that there are many limiting factors when it comes to putting the emancipatory elements of the constitution into practice. These include the increased strength of the executive branch, the intent of the government to co-opt civil society organizations and to exclude dissident views, the resistance of the conservative opposition to loosing some of its privileges, the deep-rooted social inequality, the social conflicts and polarization, the resource dependence of the current economic model, and the authoritarian characteristics of indigenous self-governance structures. The article demonstrates that the new Bolivian constitution cannot create a new society but that the processes around the elaboration of a new basic law have contributed to considerable changes in the social, political and symbolic order.

Suggested Citation

  • Almut Schilling-Vacaflor, 2010. "Bolivia’s New Constitution: Towards Participatory Democracy and Political Pluralism?," GIGA Working Paper Series 141, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:141
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.giga-hamburg.de/dl/download.php?d=/content/publikationen/pdf/wp141_schilling.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nadine Godehardt & Oliver W. Lembcke, 2010. "Regionale Ordnungen in politischen Räumen. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie regionaler Ordnungen," GIGA Working Paper Series 124, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bolivia; constitution; participatory democracy; indigenous peoples; social rights; political pluralism;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:141. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bert Hoffmann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dueiide.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.