Processes of Change

John Crabtree and Ann Chaplin


Based on a wealth of interview material and original reportage, this book offers a unique bottom-up analysis of how ordinary Bolivians have responded to the changes that have taken place in their country since the rise of the MAS in 2006.
Since Evo Morales was elected president in 2006 as leader of the MAS, the first social movement to achieve political power in Latin America, Bolivia has seen radical changes and continues to generate huge interest worldwide. In this revealing new book, Crabtree and Chaplin show how ordinary people have responded to the processes of change that have taken place in the country over the last few years.

Based on a wealth of interview material and original reportage, the book enters the terrain of grassroots politics, identifying how Bolivians work within the country's social movements and how they view the effects that this participation has achieved. It asks how they see their lives as being altered - for better or for worse - by this experience, as well as how they evaluate the experience of becoming politically involved, often for the first time. This unique bottom-up analysis explores the often complex relationship between Bolivia's people, social movements and the state, highlighting both the achievements and limitations of the MAS administration. In doing so, it casts important new light both on the nature of the Bolivian 'experiment' and its implications for participatory politics in other parts of the developing world.

Author Bio

John Crabtree is a research associate at the Latin American Centre, Oxford, and senior member of St Antony's College. His main area of expertise is the contemporary politics of the Andean region, on which he has written and broadcast widely. 

Ann Chaplin has lived and worked in Bolivia and the Andes for many years. She has worked in development, relating closely to social movements, and has been a witness to their advances. She has written recently on the development of social movements and the impact of climate change on rural communities.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue
  • Introduction: popular organization and the processes of change .
  • 1. Land, campesinos and indígenas
  • 2. The Altiplano: sindicatos versus ayllus
  • 3. El Alto: a city of migrants
  • 4. Of mines and miners
  • 5. Of coca and cocaleros
  • 6. Of gas, rents and indigenous movements of the Chaco
  • 7. Santa Cruz and the process of change
  • 8. The Amazonian north
  • Conclusions


'John Crabtree and Ann Chaplin write with that clarity and quiet authority bestowed by many years' experience. Their knowledge of Bolivia since the era of military dictatorships shows up here not in dense factual detail or political criticism.'
James Dunkerley, Queen Mary, University of Londo

'An excellent introduction to the turbulent politics of Evo Morales' Bolivia.'
Tristan Platt, University of St Andrews

'This book is extremely useful both for students and scholars of Bolivia and for those interested in understanding the unfolding of social-movement-induced change in Latin America today.'
Denise Humphreys Bebbington, Clark University


Publication Date: 9 May 2013
208 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780323763
Hardback: 9781780323770
eBook ePub: 9781780323794
eBook PDF: 9781780323787
eBook Kindle: 9781780323800

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