£21.99 | $32.95
27 May 2006
216mm x 135mm
Politics, Latin America, Economics, Development
Impasse in Bolivia
Neoliberal Hegemony and Popular Resistance
Benjamin H. Kohl and Linda C. Farthing
Bolivia has experienced two decades of unprecedented popular resistance to the consequences of neoliberal policies, resulting in the resignation and flight of its president in October 2003. This unusual book uncovers the reasons and processes behind the rising opposition - mirrored in country after country in Latin America - to this currently fashionable, internationally prescribed approach to economic development. It explores the problems faced by governments in reproducing global strategies at the national level, the tensions between markets and democracy, state restructuring, citizenship and property rights. It points to the problems inherent in retaining neoliberalism as the dominant paradigm in Latin America for the foreseeable future and the unlikely prospect of it putting down real roots of approval and legitimacy.
'The crisis in contemporary Bolivia is exceptional even by the formidable standards of the region. A confrontation between global forces and local populations, a battle over basic ideas in political economy, a comprehensive struggle over natural resources and their proper use, and a prolonged dispute over the political organisation of the republic have combined in an extraordinary experience of contested nationhood. This admirable book is written with both bold engagement and clear-headedness. Its authority derives from the author's deep knowledge of Bolivia, where they have lived and on which they have written over a range of issues. Lucid and well structured, the book provides an excellent synthetic account and analysis of the Bolivian labyrinth.' - James Dunkerley is Professor of Politics and History and Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London and editor of the Journal of Latin American Studies. His books include Rebellion in the veins: political struggle in Bolivia, 1952-82 and Americana: The Americas in the World, around 1850 (or 'Seeing the Elephant'
'A comprehensive and engaging account of Bolivia's recent history, the failures of neo-liberalism, and the struggles to move beyond the country's current impasse. Farthing and Kohl know and love their subject, and they clearly show the nature of political tensions and economic difficulties facing the country. Their analysis of Bolivia's march from the economic crisis of the early1980s through its neo-liberal reforms and the more recent
'An extraordinary achievement...The authors leave little doubt that the main cause for Bolivia's turbulent contemporary history is neo-liberalism. But they look beyond simple causalities in their analysis...The book will, beyond the slightest doubt, become a major reference for scholars attempting to analyse Bolivia's endeavours. It is well documented, has a clear structure and combines engagement with lucidity...outstanding and a must for every Bolivia scholar.' - Ton Salman, Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe
'Impasse in Bolivia is a thoughtful and thorough analysis of Bolivia’s struggle over the past two decades with neoliberal policies...fills a critical gap in literature on Bolivia, providing an astute analysis of the forces that have dictated the course of Bolivia’s recent history...Policy-makers, journalists, academics and students of Latin American politics alike will benefit from the window this book offers into the complexities of a country that has taught the world about the dangers of foreign prescriptions and highlighted the chasm between Western theoretical solutions and the Andean reality.' - Melissa Draper, the Democracy Center, Cochabamba
Table of Contents
Introduction: Entre fiestas y bloqueos (Between fiestas and blockades)
1. Neoliberal Globalization: The challenge of maintaining hegemony
2, From Francisco de Toledo to Jeffrey Sachs
3. The Neoliberal Invasion: Structural Adjustment and the New Economic Policy
4. The Neoliberal Reinvention of Bolivia: The Plan de Todos
5. Privatization Bolivian Style
6. Municipal Reform, Social Movements, and New Electoral Politics
7. The Neoliberal Wars: Water, Taxes, and Gas
8. Global Trends and Local Responses
About the Authors:
Benjamin Kohl is a member of the Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University.
Linda Farthing, a journalist, educator and activist, has worked on Bolivia for 20 years, including living there for eight. She is a former regional director for the Americas at the School for International Training, and has extensive experience in grassroots community development in both Bolivia and Nepal.
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