ThesisPDF Available

A Complex Legal Universe in Motion: Rights, Obligations, and Rural-Legal Intellectuality

Authors:
A preview of the PDF is not available
... " To understand cosmopolitanism beyond the narrowly political is to also understand how many indigenous Bolivians can be both thoroughly cosmopolitan and, for the most part, politically uncommitted. Many key social actors in the norte de Potosí, for example, whom I have described elsewhere as " rural-legal intellectuals " (Goodale 2001Goodale , 2002), embody precisely this combination, particularly those who have embraced human rights or social justice discourses over the last 15 years as part of transnational development activities based in Bolivia's most impoverished regions. ...
... This plan, which was implemented through more specific laws in 1995 and 1996, appeared just one year after the 1993 UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, which was enacted to give new impetus to the international women's rights-as-human rights movement that had been initiated with the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. For more on Bolivian legal reform during the 1990s in relation to broader currents in international human rights law, see Goodale 2001Goodale , 2002; see also Van Cott 2000. 6. ...
... He argues that both Isbell and Harris focus on the way rural Andeans " consider that the world is built by a unified biological-technological productivity unfolding seamlessly from human–telluric bonds through matrimonial alliance outward to very wide regional alignments and toward cosmological forces " (Salomon 2001:654). As I have documented in different places (e.g., Goodale 2001Goodale , 2002, n.d.), gender complementarity is in large part idealized because men and women do not coexist equally, at least in the norte de Potosí. There are any number of expressions of this " practical " inequality—meaning an inequality that arises for practical , rather than ideological, reasons—including patrilocal postmarital residence, more extensive landholdings by men, the problem of domestic abuse, and the fact that women do not serve within the range of authority positions in rural Bolivia. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article I explore the emergence of complicated new forms of indigeneity in Bolivia over the last 15 years. I argue that although what I describe as a second revolution is under way in contemporary Bolivia, there is a danger that this revolution will be misread by scholars, political commentators, and others because of the prevailing tendency to interpret social and moral movements in Bolivia (and elsewhere) in rigidly neopolitical–economic terms. I offer an alternative theoretical framework for understanding current developments in Bolivia, which I describe as “indigenous cosmopolitanism”: the ability of national political leaders, youth rappers in El Alto, rural indigenous activists, and others to bring together apparently disparate discursive frameworks as a way of reimagining categories of belonging in Bolivia, and, by extension, the meanings of modernity itself.
... Moreover, hurnan rights networks emerged beyond the nation-state, but not in any way that could be described as "global." Rather, whether the specific human rights issue was violence against women (Merry 2005), or the protection of indigenous lifeways through the use of indigenous knowledge (see Goodale 2001;Lowrey 2003;Turner t997), the networks that emerged to address it included key national actors, but opened up across national boundaries. As Sally Merry explains in her recent ethnographic study of human rights networks organiZed around violence against women: ...
... For example, in the early 1990s UNICEF began a series of lireracy and education projects in the north of Potosí Department that were organized within the new human rights paradigm. This was followed during the mid to late 1990s by what I have described elsewhere as an "influx', of human rights NGOs to Bolivia, who were eager to renew rhe material and mgral development of Bolivia's poor within their radically transformed terms of reference (see Goodale 2001; for Cochabamba, see Goldstein2004; for Santa Cruz, see Lowrey 2003). And second, there was a concerted effort to reinterpret especially the economic dimensions of the neoliberal project within a human rights framework. ...
... Law j,674 (1995), pased by the_Bolivian Congress, outlined the nature and functión of the SLIs and autháii)ed thei¡ establishment. Fo¡ rnore on the legal and political details surrounding the SLI in Alonso de Ibañez, seeGoodale 2001, and especially Chapter 5. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION At the end of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's dizzyingly suggestive but frustratingly vague book Empire, the authors take the leap that we all know is coming, but which, given the heights that have come before, we anticipate with a certain amount of dread. After having described what they understand to be a new global socio-political configuration, and having shrouded their analysis in a kind of ominousness, given the fact that Empire emerges through the self-disciplining of millions of individuals around the world, outside of the traditional institutions that can be resisted or even appropriated, they nevertheless go on to predict a revolution by the “multitude” against Empire. It is not the neo-Marxist epistemology that is so unsatisfying about this abrupt end to what is surely one of the most innovatively forethinking works of critical scholarship in recent years, one perfectly and organically embedded in its times. And nor must we necessarily object to the way in which its neo-Marxist social analysis reflects a peculiar transformation since 1989, in which the scientific trappings of dialectical materialism have been replaced by a giddy mysticism, so that the fall of the Soviet system should no longer dampen the “irrepressible lightness and joy of being communist” (2000: 413). Rather, the disappointment with their invocation of revolution is two-fold. First, it is entirely prefigured, rather than established; as I said, we know a prediction of massive system disrupture is coming because we know the theoretical trajectory in which the analysis of Empire is located.
... Since the fall of the Aymara Kingdoms of a thousand years ago, the history of the Bolivian ayllu can be understood as a movement towards fragmentation (Molinié Fioravanti 1986;Murra, Revel and Wachtel 1986). Whilst the Aymara kingdoms were great administrative units with intricate and powerful political structures (Bouysse-Cassagne, Harris, and Platt 2004;Espinoza Soriano 1997;Murra, Revel and Wachtel 1986;Molinié Fioravanti 1986), the present day ayllu is highly localised and centred on subsistence and intimate relationships with the immediate landscape (Arnold 1988Goodale 2001. We know that the ayllu existed as a socioeconomic institution amongst the Aymara speaking highlanders during the period of the Tiwanaku Empire in the seventh to the twelfth century AD. 8 The power of the empire drastically diminished around the time of the first millennium, possibly due to successive years of drought (Klein 2003). ...
... Cargos are unpaid positions of responsibility and decision-making that rotate between all (usually male) adult inhabitants of an ayllu. It is a system that ensures the cost and burden of leadership is shared between community members, it also arguably distributes power and fosters unity as well as cultural distinctiveness (Goodale 2001;McNeish 2001;Rasnake 1988). The cargo system is part of what Harris has called the ethnic economy (1995a, 2000), and in theory it ensures a democratic approach to work, land and power (Rivera 1990). ...
Article
Full-text available
Following the electoral success of left wing and pro-indigenous President Evo Morales, the indigenous poor in Bolivia find themselves at the centre of a new vision of the state, echoed by a fervent citizenship project to include them as contributing participants in this new Bolivia. The state is working to initiate these hitherto informally employed subjects into an individualized fiscal regime: to make them into “taxpayers”. While the highland indigenous population have supported Morales’ political project, they resist inclusion into the broader state-sponsored project. This is not simply about avoiding financial obligations; their resistance is instead firmly rooted in the historical experience of fiscal exploitation, general suspicion of any state-run scheme as well as a clash of exchange models. I argue that in order to overcome these barriers, the Tax Office has to succeed in separating fiscal expansion from its association with an abstract state concept, and instead link it to palpable everyday life and politics, such as the union structure and Morales’ project of indigenous inclusion.
... My research thus confirms what some anthropologists have already suggested: by partitioning the ayllus into individual properties, the Agrarian Reform reinforced the liberal land policies of the 19th century. The largest hacendados may have lost much of their land, but many landlords intensified their hold (Platt 1982:19; Silvia Rivera and THOA 1992:62; Ticona Alejo and Albó 1997:171;Goodale 2001). ...
La Reforma Agraria de 1953 también afectó el valle de Toracari en el norte de Potosí, Bolivia. No obstante, las cuantiosas propiedades que aun conservan los patrones en el valle muestran que ellos fueron más hábiles que los campesinos para aprovechar las oportunidades que brindó ese cambio político y económico. A partir de una investigación etnográfica e histórica, se indaga las particularidades de la tenencia de la tierra en Toracari y la compleja relación entre los patrones y los ayllus campesinos antes y después de la reforma agraria. Se propone que la interdependencia histórica entre los patrones y los campesinos y, paradójicamente, la nacionalización de las minas en 1952, llevada a cabo por el mismo gobierno que hizo la reforma, son factores explicativos de la persistencia del poder de los patrones en el valle. Los hallazgos presentados en este trabajo, motivan a reconsiderar la lectura convencional de la reforma agraria boliviana la cual pone énfasis en las transformaciones “estructurales” del campo boliviano. The Bolivian Agrarian Reform of 1953, which had the aim of giving peasants title to land previously held by landlords, affected the valley of Toracari in Northern Potosí. The present scale of land owned by landlords in the valley shows, however, that they have been more successful than peasants in exploiting the changing political and economic environment. On the basis of ethnographic and archival research this study presents the details of landlord landholding and its complex relationship with peasant ayllu communities before and after the Reform. It argues that the mutual dependence between landlords and peasant households and, paradoxically, the nationalization of the mines in 1952 were key factors in explaining the persistence of landlords in the valley. This article puts into perspective the literature that highlights the “structural” changes brought about by the 1953 Agrarian Reform in the Bolivian countryside.
... Before the first period of extended research in Bolivia in 1998, I had hypothesized the existence of a category of rural-legal intellectuals I called "Andean lawyers." In the dissertation that resulted (Goodale 2001), I rejected this hypothesis, arguing instead that men who pass through the fiesta-cargo system do not obtain a level of specialized legal knowledge sufficient to describe them as "lawyers" in the conventional sense. Yet I now see that in making this argument I was adopting a much too restrictive conception of "law." ...
Book
Full-text available
Dilemmas of Modernity provides an innovative approach to the study of contemporary Bolivia, moving telescopically between social, political, legal, and discursive analyses, and drawing from a range of disciplinary traditions. Based on a decade of research, it offers an account of local encounters with law and liberalism. Mark Goodale presents, through a series of finely grained readings, a window into the lives of people in rural areas of Latin America who are playing a crucial role in the emergence of postcolonial states. The book contends that the contemporary Bolivian experience is best understood by examining historical patterns of intention as they emerge from everyday practices. It provides a compelling case study of the appropriation and reconstruction of transnational law at the local level, and gives key insights into this important South American country.
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter I explore the effects of globalization on legal ethnographic fieldwork through an examination of the impact of the arrival of Western human rights discourse to rural Bolivia during the last ten years. Beginning in the late-1980s and continuing through the 1990s, several events in Bolivia coincided that would form the foundation for this development. First, there was a national debate in Bolivia during the mid-to late 1980s over the upcoming 500 years observations in 1992. This debate was accompanied by the formation of new indigenous rights groups and the strengthening of existing organizations with progressive or radical tendencies, particularly the influential labor unions. The impact of the new movement—framed now in terms of indigenous rights and largely united, something that is unusual for Bolivian social movements—was most dramatically represented by the turbulent 1990 march by indigenous rights groups from Trinidad to La Paz, an event that captivated the nation and forced a national dialogue about the marchers’ demands, which were broad in scope but centered around claims that traditional authority structures should be given legal effect at the national level, and that rural lands should be protected from the encroachment by large landowners and corporations, especially in the Bolivian Amazon.
Chapter
Full-text available
This volume is the result of a project in which ethnographers were asked to write essays that explored different research techniques that they have used to understand complex legal issues in a variety of social, political, and legal contexts. Each essay addresses a particular set of analytical problems that the ethnographers have confronted, or a particular type of data or research method that the ethnographer found useful. Because of its detailed focus on actual research techniques by ethnographers studying law in diverse settings, this volume will serve as a guide for students who are designing their own methodologies, for scholars who are new to, but interested in the possibilities of, ethnographic research, and for experienced ethnographers who are interested in theorizing about or reflecting on their own particular methodological problems. Like all ethnographic research, ethnographic studies of legal phenomena require both a serious engagement with theory and a methodological rigor. The chapters in this volume demonstrate how individual scholars have faced this two-part challenge in the course of research in different parts of the world and during different time periods.
Article
Full-text available
This article represents a search for a different analytical language through which anthropology can engage with human rights. This effort is intended to contribute to what is an expanding range of ways in which anthropologists conceptualize, advocate for, and critique contemporary human rights. Its central argument is that current ethnographic studies of human rights practices can be used as the basis for making innovative claims within human rights debates that take place outside of anthropology itself. To do this, ethnographic description that captures the contradictions and contingencies at the heart of human rights practices is not enough. What is needed is a different understanding of how the idea of human rights comes to be formed in context. In this article, I suggest several possible ways that an anthropological philosophy of human rights can accomplish this. I conclude by locating this approach in relation to a longer history of anthropological skepticism toward universalist discourses.
Article
This article explores peasants' experiences of the state in the Toracari valley, Northern Potosí, suggesting that such an analysis may shed light on the absence of political unrest among substantial segments of Bolivia's indigenous population. So long as Toracari peasants imagine the fetish of a benevolent (national) Government that one cannot fight, they associate local public offices with the small-scale mestizo landlords who hold these positions, rather than with Government. Recognition of this distinction should caution scholars against employing the concept of ‘State’ as a system that includes all levels of government and state officials. Use of that concept may obstruct serious research into the power of local elites such as the landlords.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.