5261 - Self-Government and Plurinational State Transformation: Potentials and Limitations

The indispensable fundament of the plurinational states that are supposed to be constructed in Bolivia and Ecuador consists of self-governing entities, which allow for the exercise of the right to self-determination of indigenous and Afro-American peoples. These autonomies should be the base for profound transformations of the general state structure and institutions. The paper discusses the legal framework of the new plurinational institutionality in Bolivia and Ecuador and the challenges when it comes to their implementation. It argues that the creation of self-governing entities with a leading role of hitherto marginalized sectors of society has the potential to contribute to more equal intercultural relations, but that economic, political and sociocultural context conditions at national and subnational levels limit social transformations in practice. After a general overview on current developments in Bolivia and Ecuador, I will present findings from an investigation into two indigenous autonomies with qualitative methods.

Keywords: Indigenous autonomies, plurinational states, state transformation, Bolivia, Ecuador

Author: Schilling-Vacaflor, Almut (GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies; Research Fellow, Germany / Deutschland)


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