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An analysis of Bolivia's new framework for social, political and economic regional integration

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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Bolivia’s approach to a post-neoliberal political economy includes reimagining practices of trade and integration. Drawing on indigenous and economic nationalist ideological currents, Bolivian social movements were successful in demonstrating against existing trade agreements and inserting alternative proposals into Bolivian integration policies under the Morales government. These include incorporating principles of cooperation, solidarity, complementarity and national sovereignty into existing trade fora and Bolivia’s 2006 TCP-ALBA accord with Venezuela and Cuba. This agreement generated expanded social programs and several development projects, but has not demonstrated significant economic improvements. This thesis argues that Bolivia’s new paradigm for integration is limited by endogenous structural, institutional and political impediments. Additionally, the integration strategy proposed by the Morales government risks a new form of dependency, centered on Venezuelan support and high energy rents. However, this study also suggests it is possible to advance a redistributive agenda at the margins in the emergent multi-polar world.
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