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The Centralism of ‘Twenty-First-Century Socialism’: Recentralising Politics in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia

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Artículo de revistaEaton, Kent. (University of California, Santa Cruz, Estados Unidos). The Centralism of ‘Twenty-First-Century Socialism’: Recentralising Politics in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.  / El centralismo del ‘socialismo del siglo XXI’: políticas de recentralización en Venezuela, Ecuador y Bolivia Journal of Latin American Studies, 2013 vol. 45 no. 3 p. 421-450. Palabras claves:
Bolivia | Ecuador | Venezuela
Política, Administración pública
Recentralización; descentralización; subnacional; Bolivia; Ecuador; Venezuela
Siglo XXI


Presidents Hugo Chávez, Rafael Correa and Evo Morales have all sought to reverse the policies of decentralisation that were adopted in the 1990s in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. This article adapts ideational and institutional hypotheses from the earlier literature on decentralisation to explain this recent movement in the opposite direction. At the ideational level, because of the close association of decentralisation with liberalisation in each country, recentralisation emerged as a way for presidents to reverse the legacies of their neoliberal predecessors. Beyond ideology, recentralisation can be explained by paying attention to the territorial distribution of electoral support; presidents used it to weaken the sub-national governments where the opposition had found political shelter, while simultaneously redirecting recentralised resources toward supporters.

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