Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

La conquista de la ciudadanía. Artesanos y clientismo político en Bolivia, 1880-1925

Marta Irurozqui


Through the study of the political behaviour of half-caste craftsmen in Bolivia (1880-1925), clientelism is interpreted as an outcome of the desire to start significant interpersonal relations to fight anonimity and the lack of social, politic and legal existence. Clientelism provided relevant social ties and gave actual and legal shelter; it helped the craftsmen to keep their labour and social status in front of the progressive devaluation of crafts due to the policies of free-trade and the immigration of natives towards the towns. It also helped to create organizations that favoured an individual political action. Far from being a practice that impaired or thwarted democracy, clientelism was an essential side of it.

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