The 'indigenous native peasant' trinity: imagining a plurinational community in Evo Morales's Bolivia

Fontana, Lorenza (2014). The 'indigenous native peasant' trinity: imagining a plurinational community in Evo Morales's Bolivia. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 32(3) pp. 518–534.



Over the last two decades Latin America has been a laboratory for the implementation of new models of state and citizenship. In Bolivia the (neo)liberal multicultural paradigm dominant in the 1990s has recently been replaced by a plurinational paradigm, which implies a deepening of the decentralization process and the strengthening of rights for traditionally marginalized social sectors. This paper describes the process of construction of a plurinational ‘imagined community’ and, in particular, of one of its core narratives: The ‘indigenous native peasant’. I argue that the negotiation of this collective identity and its inclusion as one of the core ideas in the new constitution is the result of a contingent strategy in response to a highly conflictive scenario, which has not been, however, able to trigger a change in the way people identify themselves. Yet in recent years, social movements’ identities have been shaped by centrifugal forces. These forces should be understood as the result of a process of collective actors’ adaptation to institutional and regulatory reforms and contribute to explaining the increase of new intrasocietal conflicts linked to the redefinition of citizenship and territorial boundaries.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 45006
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1472-3433
  • Keywords
  • plurinational state; citizenship; collective identities; consultation; social movements; Bolivia
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2014 Pion and its Licensors
  • Depositing User
  • Lorenza Fontana