Accepted Paper:

Introducing Suma Qamaña: the contested construction of indigenous knowledge in Bolivia's state transformation  
Eija Maria Ranta-Owusu (Development Studies)

Paper long abstract:

Through Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) - a conglomeration of social movements, indigenous organizations and trade unions - class- and identity-based movements have assumed state power in contemporary Bolivia. This has led to an introduction of "indigenous knowledge" (vivir bien, suma qamaña), long studied by Andean anthropologists and promoted by indigenous intellectuals and organizations alike, to state policy-making.

In this paper, I examine the contested construction of "indigenous knowledge", in a context where state/society relations are re-negotiated due to increased role of social movements and indigenous organizations in state (trans-)formation. I will explore how and why contestations and power struggles emerge between and within the executive, social movements and development donors over proper definition of indigenous knowledge along the lines of universal-particular and global-local.

This paper draws on ethnographic fieldwork (2008-2009) among political actors, social movements and development donors in La Paz, Bolivia.

Panel W012
Globalisation, crises and imagination in contemporary social movements