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Las élites económicas en la Bolivia contemporánea


En este trabajo trato de analizar el reposicionamiento político de las élites económicas bolivianas en la última fase del gobierno del Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), durante la crisis y caída de este gobierno en octubre y noviembre del 2019 y en el contexto actual. El enfoque se centrará en las representaciones institucionales más importantes del empresariado, es decir en las diferentes asociaciones y cámaras clave.
Please cite as: Wolff, Jonas 2020: Las élites económicas en la Bolivia contemporánea,
in: Jan Souverein/José Luis Exeni Rodríguez (eds.): Nuevo Mapa de Actores en Bolivia:
Crisis, polarización e incertidumbre (2019-2020), La Paz: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Bolivia,
139-163. Free download at:
... Separating civic activism from business influence in policy was a way for the MAS to avoid the intersection of regional and class cleavages that had fueled serious conflicts during 2006-2009. As pointed out by Wolff (2020a;2020b), Cruceño economic elites were cautious and ultimately marginal in anti-Morales mobilizations between 2016-2019. When the Civic Committee called for demonstrations against Morales' re-election, business associations declined, saying they would not intervene in political affairs beyond their mandates. ...
We analyze recent developments in Bolivia’s politics through the lens of political cleavage theory, in particular cleavage displacement. Bolivia’s current party system is characterized by a stable and dominant MAS at one end of the spectrum, and at the other a fractious, unstable collection of parties, movements, and other vehicles that have failed to articulate a coherent set of political ideas. It emerged when the previous party system collapsed in 2003-05, shifting politics from a conventional left-right axis of competition unsuited to Bolivian society, to an ethnic/rural vs. cosmopolitan/urban axis closely aligned with its major social cleavage. But society did not freeze in 2005. We analyze the deep roots of Bolivia’s current politics, and explore emerging or changing generational, ethnic, urban-rural, regional, class, and religious divides. Understanding how cleavages interact to determine political outcomes allows us to make sense of the deep tensions and sources of instability that both Bolivia, and the MAS internally, currently face, and to shine a light on major coming challenges.
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