State Governance and Micropractices of Power in the Process of Decolonizing the State in Bolivia

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/250868

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Ranta , E M 2018 , ' State Governance and Micropractices of Power in the Process of Decolonizing the State in Bolivia ' , Forum for Development Studies , vol. 45 , no. 3 , pp. 363-385 . https://doi.org/10.1080/08039410.2018.1452790

Julkaisun nimi: State Governance and Micropractices of Power in the Process of Decolonizing the State in Bolivia
Tekijä: Ranta, Eija Maria
Muu tekijä: University of Helsinki, Global Development Studies
Päiväys: 2018-09-24
Kieli: eng
Sivumäärä: 23
Kuuluu julkaisusarjaan: Forum for Development Studies
ISSN: 0803-9410
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/250868
Tiivistelmä: This article investigates how multiple and nuanced micropractices of power work through everyday bureaucratic actions in the course of major state transformations. It argues that it is not solely the grand ideological battles or global asymmetries of power that impede the implementation of revolutionary political alternatives. More attention should be paid to the internal functioning of state governance and its micropractices of power in processes of change. Empirically, it examines the process of decolonizing the state in Bolivia, where the notion of Vivir Bien (Living Well) has been introduced into policy-making processes since 2006. Initially, it was portrayed as a democratizing, decolonizing, and ecological policy alternative deriving - to an extent - from indigenous cultural heritage that provides locally grounded solutions to societal problems. While many of the outcomes of the shift in public policy have been critically assessed, there is still a lack of showing how difficulties in implementation emerge. By discussing the contested nature of everyday bureaucratic practices in Evo Morales' Bolivia, this article tries to fulfill the gap. It is demonstrated that multiple everyday techniques, procedures, and routines of the state continue to create and reproduce various forms of coloniality. The ethnographic evidence of the continuation of neoliberal rationalities suggests that it is these exact - and assumingly insignificant - bureaucratic routines that derogate Vivir Bien transformation agenda internally. Consequently, together with opposition and outright racism by public servants, it is shown that deep ruptures have emerged between political rhetoric of decolonization and concrete everyday actions amidst state bureaucracy.
Avainsanat: 5203 Global Development Studies
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