University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Author: Camilo Alfredo Arratia Toledo; [2021-10-14]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Bolivia has been attracting international attention since 2006 due to its new economic model based on wellbeing (Suma Qamaña). These is apparent in national and regional developmental plans that place special importance on Mother Earth and apparently align with ancestral practices. In contrast, Postdevelopment scholars have used the Bolivian Suma Qamaña experience to demonstrate the value of "alternatives to development" and question the current development paradigm. Nevertheless, both situations contain important contradictions. First, despite being inspired by the Suma Qamaña, Bolivia's development plan still have an extractivist orientation toward natural resources and the accumulation of wealth as their dominant logic. In addition, for those who understand Suma Qamaña as a "Alternative to development" there is a romanticization of indigenous practices that often ignores how indigenous peoples actually live and what they want for their future. Therefore, this thesis analyzes the concept of Suma Qamaña from two viewpoints: first, the articulation of the concept in the current Bolivian development plan (PDES), and second, the feasibility of Suma Qamaña as an alternative to development. This thesis is framed during the Covid-19 outbreak in Andean communities of Bolivia, based on the economic impacts that these communities experienced at the time and the strategies they used to overcome these challenges.

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