Project

A Revolution in Fragments: Traversing Scales of Justice, Ideology, and Practice in Bolivia

Goal: A book based on 9 years of ethnographic research in Bolivia that examines the "process of change" through ideology, different movements for change, and the development of novel doctrines of legal, political, and economic pluralism.

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Project log

Mark Goodale
added a research item
Mark Goodale
added a research item
In light of current developments in Bolivia, I'm posting my chapter on the opposition and right-wing, a chapter that provides a long-term study of sectors that are currently mobilizing.
Mark Goodale
added an update
Kamari Clarke (UCLA) and I are organizing a joint book launch and party on Friday November 22, 2019 at the American Anthropological Association meetings in Vancouver, Canada. Please see the attached invitation.
 
Mark Goodale
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“This is a major piece of scholarship on contemporary Bolivia that offers profound theoretical insights and contributions. I have no doubt that this fabulous book will become an authoritative text.”
(Andrew Canessa, author of Intimate Indigeneities: Race, Sex, and History in the Small Spaces of Andean Life)
“Revolutionary change has proven profoundly difficult for anthropologists to handle, and this both in theoretical and descriptive terms. Against this background, A Revolution in Fragments is a triumph. Both a compelling theoretical account of the nature of ‘revolution by constitution’ and a gripping ethnography of the revolutionary process as it unfolded over more than a decade in Bolivia, this is a book no one interested in the nature and potential of radical social transformation should miss.”
(Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge)
 
Mark Goodale
added a research item
Introduction to A Revolution Fragments made available by Duke University Press.
Mark Goodale
added an update
Duke UP has designed the cover.
 
Mark Goodale
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After some reorganization and reframing, here is the final table of contents for the book.
 
Mark Goodale
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Here is the book's abstract:
Based on ethnographic and critical research over nine years, this volume examines the contours of the extraordinary period of Bolivian history that began with the inauguration of Evo Morales as president in January 2009. The period 2006-2015 has variously been described as a time of democratic and cultural revolution, world renewal (Pachakuti), reconstituted neoliberalism, or, simply, “the process of change.” This book unpacks these different analytical and ideological approaches by privileging the voices and perspectives of a wide range of political and legal actors, social movement leaders, students, indigenous intellectuals, women’s rights activists, and many others. The result is a singular ethnographic account of contemporary Bolivia that reveals the fragmentary and contested nature of the country’s radical experiments in pluralism, ethnic politics, and “postneoliberal” socioeconomic planning. The volume features a substantial body of ethnographic research and analysis that has never before been published, including interviews and observations with Bolivia’s different rightwing opposition groups, whose resistance to the MAS government and its revolutionary ambitions brought the country to the brink of civil war during the volatile years of 2007-2009. Yet by following the course of these conflicts into 2015, the volume shows how the Morales government deployed a variety of legal, political, and ideological tools as part of its long-term strategy to consolidate power at the service of decolonizing transformation. The volume concludes by arguing that the process of change in Bolivia offers one of the best contemporary case studies for considering the role that political agency, identity, and economic equality play within broader movements for justice and structural change.
 
Mark Goodale
added an update
The book has a new title--A Revolution in Fragments: Traversing Scales of Justice, Ideology, and Practice in Bolivia
 
Mark Goodale
added an update
I am very happy to say that I recently signed a contract with Duke University Press to bring "Revolution in the Brackets" out in fall 2019, in time for the American Anthropological Association meetings and, more importantly, the late-October elections in Bolivia. I will be working on revisions in July to be able to submit the final manuscript in August.
 
Mark Goodale
added an update
Have finished the Postscript to Revolution in the Brackets. Entitled "Chasing Evo," it is an ethnographic reflection on the meaning behind efforts--finally abandoned--over nine years to interview Evo Morales as part of the project.
 
Mark Goodale
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Have just finished the conclusion to Revolution in the Brackets, which is entitled "From Relations of Production to Relations of Personhood."
 
Mark Goodale
added an update
Working on the book's final chapter, "And the Pututu Shall Sound," which takes up questions of indigeneity, historical injustice, and cultural practice within Bolivia's "democratic and cultural revolution." In the chapter, I develop the idea of a "prismatic" conception of collective identity in order to understand the multilayered ways in which forms of collective belonging were mobilized, resisted, and rendered during the period 2006-2015.
 
Mark Goodale
added an update
Have begun Chapter Five, "Living Well Through Law," which returns to the question of the role of law within Bolivia's process of change since 2006. Sections in the chapter analyze the implications of decolonizing the law; the paradoxes of bureaucratizing revolution through the instrumentalities and logics of law; the use of what I call "strategic juridification" by the Morales government; and the tragic misalignment of human rights discourse with the ethic-moral principles that ground what Nancy Postero (in her wonderful recent book!) has called the "indigenous state."
 
Mark Goodale
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Recently finished Chapter 4, a study of the ambivalent place of Bolivia's traditional Trotskyist left within the constitutional revolution of the period 2006-2015.
 
Mark Goodale
added a research item
The Bolivia Reader provides a panoramic view, from antiquity to the present, of the history, culture, and politics of a country known for its ethnic and regional diversity, its rich natural resources and dilemmas of economic development, and its political conflict and creativity. Featuring both classic and little-known texts ranging from fiction, memoir, and poetry to government documents, journalism, and political speeches, the volume challenges stereotypes of Bolivia as a backward nation while offering insights into the country's history of mineral extraction, revolution, labor organizing, indigenous peoples' movements, and much more. Whether documenting Inka rule or Spanish conquest, three centuries at the center of Spanish empire, or the turbulent politics and cultural vibrancy of the national period, the sources—the majority of which appear in English for the first time—foreground the voices of actors from many different walks of life. Unprecedented in scope, The Bolivia Reader illustrates the historical depth and contemporary challenges of Bolivia in all of its complexity.
Mark Goodale
added an update
Have recently finished Chapter Three of book. Will hopefully have a first draft finished by late-October. Will attach current working TOC for those who are interested.
 
Mark Goodale
added 2 research items
Presentation to Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, University of Zurich
Presentation given at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mark Goodale
added a research item
Presentation given to the Minerva Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mark Goodale
added an update
Public lecture on this project, Monday January 2, 2017, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
 
Mark Goodale
added a project goal
A book based on 9 years of ethnographic research in Bolivia that examines the "process of change" through ideology, different movements for change, and the development of novel doctrines of legal, political, and economic pluralism.