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  • From Indigeneity to Economic Liberation

    Nancy Postero

    Chapter from the book: Postero, N. 2017. The Indigenous State: Race, Politics, and Performance in Plurinational Bolivia.


    The chapter focuses on what decolonization and plurinationalism means to political activists at the local level. What has been the effect of the indigenous state on daily life in indigenous communities? To what extent does indigeneity serve as a site of politics after ten years of the MAS state? I examine this from the vantage point of two communities: a marginal Aymara neighborhood in El Alto, where residents are aiming for middle-class status in the booming economy; and two urban Guaraní communities in lowland Santa Cruz, where struggles over jobs and environmental justice appear to be taking precedence over indigenous identity. I show how decolonization and indigenous culture have been displaced by a new discourse of “economic liberation,” through which the state has combined its earlier demands for economic justice with national sovereignty. I show how, in some circumstances, ethnic identities are giving way to class alliances, as indigenous groups press for justice.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Postero, N. 2017. From Indigeneity to Economic Liberation. In: Postero, N, The Indigenous State. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.31.g

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    Published on May 5, 2017