In the 1990s, Bolivias indigenous population mobilized to claim new political roles, and in the process, directly challenged the privileged position of economic elites within national political institutions. In response, business associations in Santa Cruz, Bolivias most prosperous region, began to demand regional autonomy in contrast to the demand for authoritarianism that characterized prior generations of business elites when confronted with threatening political change. After examining Santa Cruz past relationship with the national government, this article explores the challenges that led economic elites in the department to seek autonomy and the strategies that they have adopted in pursuit of this goal. Keywords: regional autonomy; indigenous mobilization; decentralization; business associations; Bolivia

Backlash in Bolivia: Regional Autonomy as a Reaction against Indigenous Mobilization’, KentEatonPolitics & Society, 35 (1) (2007): 71–102. Published by SAGE Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
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