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Processes of Change
Since Evo Morales was elected president in 2006 as leader of the MAS, the first social movement to achieve political power in Latin America, Bolivia has seen radical changes and continues to generate huge interest worldwide. In this revealing new book, Crabtree and Chaplin show how ordinary people have responded to the processes of change that have taken place in the country over the last few years.
Based on a wealth of interview material and original reportage, the book enters the terrain of grassroots politics, identifying how Bolivians work within the country's social movements and how they view the effects that this participation has achieved. It asks how they see their lives as being altered - for better or for worse - by this experience, as well as how they evaluate the experience of becoming politically involved, often for the first time. This unique bottom-up analysis explores the often complex relationship between Bolivia's people, social movements and the state, highlighting both the achievements and limitations of the MAS administration. In doing so, it casts important new light both on the nature of the Bolivian 'experiment' and its implications for participatory politics in other parts of the developing world.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'John Crabtree and Ann Chaplin write with that clarity and quiet authority bestowed by many years' experience. Their knowledge of Bolivia since the era of military dictatorships shows up here not in dense factual detail or political criticism. Rather, it is reflected in their skilled ability to capture, through scores of interviews undertaken throughout the country, a really telling snapshot of the popular experience of recent years. They show how the period since 2006 has been one of many complications and disputes but also of extensive social change and cultural excitement. Sympathetic but independently minded, the authors have given us a most valuable and accessible survey of Bolivia under Evo Morales.'
James Dunkerley, Queen Mary, University of London
'An excellent introduction to the turbulent politics of Evo Morales' Bolivia. Indigenous empowerment and swelling state revenues are today accompanied by new conflicts, skillfully analysed by the authors. Moving between several regions and sectors, they transmit views from social actors at the base, arguing that the growth in social inclusion is irreversible.'
Tristan Platt, University of St Andrews
'Crabtree and Chapin provide an insightful guide to the ''processes of change'' in Bolivia under the Morales government. This book is extremely useful both for students and scholars of Bolivia and for those interested in understanding the unfolding of social-movement-induced change in Latin America today.'
Denise Humphreys Bebbington, Clark University
'Evo Morales has gone from hungry youngster in the Andes to president of his country with all the concentrated energy that only those born poor such as he seem to find. Bolivia's stories are marshalled here by two accomplished writers with expertise and flair.'
Hugh O'Shaughnessy, author of The Priest of Paraguay and prize-winning journalist who has written on Latin America for over 4 decades.