The Production of Local Knowledge

History and Politics in the Work of René Zavaleta Mercado

Luis Tapia

Translated by Alison Spedding



6 x 9 inches, 456pp January 2017

ISBN : 978 0 8574 2 334 4

Rs  750.00 (HB)
$35.00 (HB)
£24.50 (HB)

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This book is the first comprehensive examination of the work of Bolivian political thinker René Zavaleta Mercado (1939­–84), whose ideas were a key influence on many of the Indigenous activists and ideologues who have transformed Bolivian politics and economics in recent years. This study, by Luis Tapia, a contemporary political analyst who has been a colleague of many of the central actors in today’s government, presents a detailed panorama of Bolivian history which establishes the context of Zavaleta’s analysis of the events of his time, from the revolutionary nationalist movement which took power in 1952, through the military dictatorships which followed it from 1964 onwards, to the popular protests which eventually defeated the dictatorship and restored democratic government in 1982. It is necessary reading for anyone who wants to understand the decades of history and the ideological currents which preceded the rise to power of the neo-Indigenists lead by Evo Morales in the twenty-first century.

Luis Tapia is a philosopher, teacher and researcher. He is the director of the Multidisciplinary Doctoral Program in Developmental Sciences, CIDES, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés and National Autonomous University of Mexico. His area of ​​interest is democracy and multiculturalism and he is the author of an extensive bibliography on these issues, including The Invention of Common Core: Citizenship and Multisectoral Government (2006) and Equality is Cogobierno (2007).


Alison Spedding is a British anthropologist and novelist who has lived in Bolivia since 1986. Apart from translating and writing, she teaches in the public university in La Paz and grows coca leaves in the Yungas.

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