4619 - Institutionalising self-organisation and popular power: Venezuela and the ALBA-TCP¿s regionalisation of ¿revolutionary democracy¿

With Nicaragua’s “Sandinista People’s Revolution” (1979-1990) as a historical and ideological reference point, this paper examines the contemporary efforts of institutionalising self-organisation and popular power in Latin America and the Caribbean via the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Peoples’ Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP). At the core of the analysis is the Venezuelan government’s concept of “protagonistic revolutionary democracy”, which is the definitional foundation of the envisioned “21st century socialism” as a political economy culture that combines: a) pluralist representative democracy; with b) Marxist direct democracy; and c) participatory democracy, as people’s social, political, economic and cultural self-organisation and protagonism. The paper draws on ethnographic field research in Venezuela, Nicaragua and El Salvador to analyse the ALBA-TCP as a counter-hegemonic governance regime composed of two dialectically interrelated forces: the “state-in-revolution” and the “organised society”. They drive the regionalisation of “revolutionary democracy”, thus institutionalising popular power and self-organisation.

Keywords: counter-hegemony, democracy, governance, revolution, socialism

Author: Muhr, Thomas (University of Bristol, United Kingdom/Ver Königr)


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