In Spaces of Marginalization: Dispossession, Incorporation, and Resistance in Bolivia

Brent Z. Kaup


Recent scholarship conceptualizing primitive accumulation as an ongoing process in global capitalism has noted the difficulties faced in bringing struggles against exploitation and dispossession together. While some scholars suggest that an 'organic link" exists between these conflicts. they have yet to clearly specify the conditions and mechanisms through which such a link can form. Examining cases in Bolivia at the turn of the twenty-first century. I argue that struggles against exploitation and dispossession do not merely converge when facing a common oppressor. but also as the changing forms and geographies of exploitation and dispossession bring people together in more proximate locations. I illustrate that the changing means through which Bolivia was incorporated into the global economy enhanced levels of marginalization and subsequently resulted in patterns of migration that led to a convergence of peasant and proletarian struggles. As both segments of Bolivian society were excluded from the country's major economic sectors. they migrated to the places where they thought they could best satisfy their livelihood needs. But as people continually struggled to meet these needs, these places became spaces of marginalization, and eventually, spaces of resistance.


primitive accumulation; incorporation; Bolivia; peasant-proletarian struggle

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Copyright (c) 2015 Brent Z. Kaup

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