Abstract

Since 1999, growing citizen dissatisfaction in Bolivia has been manifest in a cycle of often violent protests. Citizens believe that they have no means of expressing themselves except demonstrations. The public has grown weary of neoliberalism, which is perceived as benefiting only the elite. A recent economic downturn provided the catalyst for the unrest. Underlying these economic concerns, however, are fundamental problems with representation. The second Bolivian "revolution" involved not only the shift from state-led economic development to neoliberalism but also a shift from corporatism to pluralism. Representative institutions have not fully responded to the new pluralistic landscape, despite a range of political reforms. Many Bolivians find that their voice in government has weakened even as their needs have grown. The Bolivian case thereby highlights the obstacles young democracies face in winning over decreasingly tolerant citizens.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-2456
Print ISSN
1531-426X
Pages
pp. 69-90
Launched on MUSE
2005-08-12
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2007
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