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Chiquitano and the state: negotiating identities and indigenous territories in Bolivia

Weber, Katinka (2010) Chiquitano and the state: negotiating identities and indigenous territories in Bolivia. Doctoral thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This thesis analyses how Chiquitano people engage with the state and to what effect,based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out between September 2006 and August 2007 in the Bolivian Concepción, San Javier and Lomerío municipalities, in the eastern Bolivian lowlands. It focuses on the most contentious areas of Chiquitanostate relations, namely the emergence of the Chiquitano social movement, the struggle for territory and territorial autonomy and participation in the local state bureaucracy. While Chiquitano interact with the state in order to protect their sociocultural communal reproduction, this thesis finds that in many ways the Chiquitano organisation acts as part of the state and replicates its neo-liberal multicultural rhetoric. The state remains the main shaper of forms of political engagement and collective identification (such as indigeneity), resonating with Fried’s (1967) and Scott’s (1998) notions that the state implies some sort of process, one of ‘restructuring’ and ‘making legible’. Consequently, this thesis argues that from the Chiquitano perspective, the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president in 2005 and his radical state reform project through the 2006-2007 Constituent Assembly, has not fundamentally transformed previous patterns of indigenous-state engagement. It posits that the more successful resistance continues to reside, perhaps more subtly, in comunidades’ socio-cultural relations.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Bolivia; lowlands; Chiquitano; state; citizenship; neo-liberal multiculturalism; ethnic movements; indigeneity; indigenous territories; local government
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
ID Code:2713
Deposited On:06 Aug 2012 10:23
Last Modified:07 Aug 2012 01:00

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