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The Pluri-Extractivist State: Regional Autonomy and the Limits of Indigenous Participation in Gran Chaco Province

Anthias, Penelope

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Abstract

On 20 November 2016, residents of Gran Chaco Province in south-east Bolivia voted by popular referendum to approve a statute that established Gran Chaco as Bolivia's first autonomous region. This article examines regional autonomy in the Chaco as an example of how identities, territory and political power are being remapped at the intersection of an extractivist development model and competing visions of a plurinational state. I chart how regional autonomy, an elite-led project centred on demands for a fixed share of departmental gas royalties, has been institutionalised under the framework of plurinationalism and used to bolster central state power in this gas-rich region. The article considers the historical evolution of this regionalist project, its intersection with broader processes of state formation under the Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement towards Socialism, MAS) government and its implications for the Chaco's Indigenous peoples, who have achieved significant representation within the regional assembly while seeing their own visions of territorial autonomy sidelined by an extractivist development agenda.

Citation

Anthias, P. (2022). The Pluri-Extractivist State: Regional Autonomy and the Limits of Indigenous Participation in Gran Chaco Province. Journal of Latin American Studies, 54(1), 125-154. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0022216x21000997

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 25, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 17, 2022
Publication Date 2022-02
Deposit Date Feb 9, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 4, 2022
Journal Journal of Latin American Studies
Print ISSN 0022-216X
Electronic ISSN 1469-767X
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 54
Issue 1
Pages 125-154
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/s0022216x21000997
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1214145

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