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Democracy and New Social Forces in Bolivia

Pilar Domingo
Social Forces
Vol. 83, No. 4 (Jun., 2005), pp. 1727-1743
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3598412
Page Count: 17
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Democracy and New Social Forces in Bolivia
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Abstract

The forced resignation of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada from the presidency in October 2003 attests to the fragility of the process of democratization in Bolivia. A period of political and economic stability following the 1985 economic austerity measures prevailed for over ten years, but social discontent with the inadequacies of the political and economic model has become more evident since the end of the 1990s. This article charts the political, economic and social processes which have interacted in complex -- and indeed contradictory -- ways since the 1980s, advancing towards democracy in some important aspects, but failing to overcome structural barriers of exclusion, and rooted patterns of state patrimonialism. In a context of diminishing societal acceptance and legitimacy of the democratic institutions, new social forces have emerged which are challenging assumptions within the transitions literature regarding the path towards democratic consolidation and even the end-goal.

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