UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The mobilization of the left and the nationalization of the hydrocarbon sector : Bolivia's transition from a pacted democracy McElroy, Katherine


Throughout Latin America the conservative terms established at the outset of democratization, which often limited the scope of democracy for the preservation of stability, have been exhausted. Coinciding with the emergence of the Latin American left, the initial terms of democracy are being redefined through the reconstitution of the state and the renegotiation of the role of the state in the economy. These phenomena are presently and precipitously unfolding in Bolivia. Bolivia’s failure to establish substantively democratic institutions resulted in a political-economy orientation incongruent to the preferences of the electorate. The electorate was forced to push their interests by means of increasingly assertive social movements, which coalesced, forming viable leftist party alternatives. Seeking to redefine the parameters of the state, the actualization of the left’s nationalization agenda reversed decades-old policies of privatization that had been maintained through pacted executive legislative relations. In redefining Bolivian democracy, the left has confronted a resistant opposition, which has thrust the country into a political impasse, the outcome of which has yet to be determined.

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