Postliberal Democracy Emerging? A conceptual proposal and the case of Bolivia

TitlePostliberal Democracy Emerging? A conceptual proposal and the case of Bolivia
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleHSFK Working Paper No. 11/2012
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWolff, J
Number of Pages18
PublisherHessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung / Peace Research Institute Frankfurt

"Since the turn of the century, the spread of left and centre-left governments across Latin America and, in particular, a new wave of constitutional reforms have led scholars to speculate about the possible emergence of some kind of a postliberal democracy in the region (cf. Nolte and Schilling-Vacaflor 2012). Most prominently, Benjamin Arditi (2008: 67) observes an ‘experimentation with post-liberal formats of political participation’ among the new and heterogeneous Left in the region. Arditi (2008: 72-80) identifies a series of postliberal elements that do not replace the liberal state and electoral democracy but, by adding non-liberal forms of participation and citizenship, tend to transform liberal-democratic polities. Deepening Arditi’s analysis with a view to Bolivia, Nancy Postero (2010) argues that the agenda of the Morales government is not only about moving towards post-neoliberalism, but about transforming – ‘vernacularizing’ – liberalism. Comparing the socio-economic, political, and cultural transformations in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, Arturo Escobar (2010) also finds traces of postliberalism – and post-developmentalism and postcapitalistism – but concludes that, overall, contemporary political changes point towards alternative forms of modernisation, not alternatives to modernity. Boaventura de Sousa Santos (2010: 30-31) calls the emerging situation in these three countries ‘demo-diversity’, the result of an ‘enrichment’ of representative democracy with participatory and communitarian forms of democracy." (from the paper's introduction) Download

Full Text