Formação do Estado e Horizonte Plurinacional na Bolívia
By: Clayton Mendonça Cunha Filho
Release date: Oct 2018
Number of pages: 373
The book "Formação do Estado e Horizonte Plurinacional na Bolívia" seeks to understand and explain the influences of the Liberal, Indianist and National-popular Bolivian traditions on the construction of the current Plurinational State of Bolívia, inaugurated with the 2009 Constitution. Understood as political matrices that left a legacy of unfinished demands and agendas, but also elements and symbols of legitimacy acquisition, the book seeks to reconstruct the trajectory of the three traditions throughout Bolivian history and how the memory of the same influenced the contours and possibilities of redefinition of the new State. The subjacent hypothesis is that this Plurinational State, in its attempt to resolve the strong crisis of legitimacy of the years 2000-2005, is strongly nourished by the agendas of the three matrices - intentionally and deliberately as in the case of Indianism and National-popular or reluctantly as in the case of Liberalism - in order to try to reconcile the State with its highly heterogeneous social formation. It is possible to perceive a persistence in the current refoundational experiment and in the current political practice of the country a heterogeneous mixture of different agendas and practices from the three political matrices, represented above all in the attachment to democracy as a value and procedure; in the ethnic-cultural recognition brought to the interior of the State with the potential incorporation of communal institutional formats and the preservation of autonomous spaces of deliberation; and in the search for more direct political participation on the part of the people and in the emphasis over popular sovereignty over the country's natural resources and greater state intervention in the economy.
"With a keen analytical eye and precise historical descriptions, Clayton Cunha Filho presents us with a reflection on the origins of the Bolivian Plurinational State, an institutional innovation that has been intriguing and inspiring social scientists from all over the world for almost a decade now. Therefore, he travels through three historical matrices that define the relations of legitimacy between the State and society in Bolivia - constitutional liberalism, indigenism and popular nationalism - identifying their founding moments and projects. If the first matrices and their calls for greater social democratization of the State and the recognition of indigenous forms of self-government were frequently identified in the new plurinational model, the same did not occur with constitutional liberalism, considered by many as the defeated political matrix in the recent period. The author agrees with this diagnosis, placing the forms on which liberalism relies and its appeal to legality and pre-established institutional forms are embedded in the other matrices, making the plurinational State a heterogeneous expression of Bolivia's motley social formation, as characterized by the famous sociologist René Zavaleta Mercado. Thus, inspired by what is best in Bolivian political and social thinking, this work offers us both a contextualization and historical explanation of the emergence of the plurinational State, as instruments for understanding and assessing its most recent tensions and contradictions. It is a compulsory reading not only for specialists in the country, but also for those interested in the broader political horizons that challenge the Latin American continent."
Sue Iamamoto, professor of Political Science at UFBA, author of the book "El nacionalismo boliviano en tiempos de plurinacionalidad" (OEP, 2013)