Andrea Marston F'18
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2018
University of California, Berkeley
Thieves of Patria: Vertical Politics in Plurinational Bolivia
In 2009, Bolivia was transformed from a republic into a plurinational state with constitutionally enshrined rights for indigenous peoples and mother earth. Yet, conservative groups of small-scale miners, known as mining cooperatives, exercise significant power within this new state. Through ethnographic and archival work, this research explores the history and politics of Bolivian mining cooperatives. It argues that the tension between plurinationalism and cooperative mining is evidence of an older division between Bolivia’s surface land and its subsoil resources. The latter was produced as a national space and imbued with masculinist and mestizo dreams of progress that continue to motivate resource extraction, even in an era of putatively indigenous nation-building.