236 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power:
politicizing the Pluriverse
Suma Qamaña como estratégia de poder:
politizando o Pluriverso
DOI: 10.21530/ci.v13n3.2018.818
Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
The “pluriverse” has recently gained momentum in International Relations among scholars
focused on ontological pluralism. Nevertheless, theoretical debates may obscure several
political tensions observed in local experience. In this paper, I analyze narratives on Suma
Qamaña, which synthesizes Aymara cosmology and is both reproduced and criticized by
political actors in Bolivia. I argue that the discourse on Suma Qamaña entails a strategy of
power by both Aymara people and the government. The paper is developed in three parts:
first, I examine the term`s framing in literature, Suma Qamaña`s risen in Bolivian society
and its connection to the reconstruction of Aymara identity. Then, I analyze Suma Qamaña`s
insertion into governmental discourse. Finally, I stress power disputes over Suma Qamaña.
I suggest that the emphasis attributed by IR academics to its ontological potential without
considering this strategic facet might lead them to depoliticize the term, reproducing a similar
pattern advanced by other theorists and the government.
Keywords: Suma Qamaña; pluriverse; Bolivia.
O “pluriverso” adquiriu recentemente impulso na disciplina de Relações Internacionais entre
os acadêmicos preocupados com o pluralismo ontológico. Entretanto, os debates teóricos
podem obscurecer diversas tensões políticas observadas no local. Neste artigo, analiso
1 Article based on PhD research sponsored by CNPq.
2 Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado is an Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Federal University of Latin
America Integration (Unila). She holds a PhD from IRI/PUC-Rio and has been investigating social movements
for over 10 years. Currently, she vice-coordinates the Theoretical Thematic Area of the Brazilian Association of
International Relations (ABRI).
Artigo submetido em 22/06/2018 e aprovado em 11/09/2018.
237Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
as narrativas sobre o Suma Qamaña, expressão que sintetiza a cosmologia Aymara e é
reproduzida e criticada pelos atores políticos na Bolívia. Argumento que o discurso sobre
o Suma Qamaña encerra uma estratégia de poder exercida tanto pelos aymara quanto pelo
governo. Este artigo é desenvolvido em três partes: primeiro, examino o enquadramento do
termo na literatura, sua ascensão na sociedade boliviana e conexão com a reconstrução da
identidade Aymara. Depois, analiso a inserção do Suma Qamaña no discurso governamental.
Finalmente, enfatizo as disputas de poder em torno do Suma Qamaña. Sugiro que a ênfase
atribuída pelos acadêmicos ao seu potencial ontológico sem considerer sua face estratégica
poderá levá-los a despolitizar o termo, reproduzindo um padrão desenvolvido por outros
teóricos e mesmo pelo governo.
Palavras-chave: Suma Qamaña; pluriverso; Bolivia.
The discipline of International Relations (IR) has been increasingly criticized
for its exclusionary feature by academics who, although representatives of distinct
theoretical perspectives, belong to the same tradition of thought produced mainly
in the Anglo-Saxon world (Ashley 1988; Cox 1987; Onuf 1989; Smith, Booth
and Zalewski 1996; Tickner 1992; Walker 1993; Wendt 1999). In that sense, its
internal diversification would reflect not necessarily an ontological pluralism but
the reification of a pretentious universality and, consequently, the marginalization
of other knowledge and the modes of life reflected by them. For that reason,
many academics either have pointed IR as an American discipline or highlighted
its Western, Eurocentric feature (Hoffmann 1977; Biersterker 2009; Ikeda 2010;
Jones 2006; Tickner and Blaney 2012; Hobson 2012; Acharya and Buzan 2010;
Weaver 1998). Such a move puts into question IR’s international or even global
vocation once we realize that much published work tends to reproduce concepts
and models geopolitically situated. More, such works are based on epistemological
and methodological fundaments present among mainstream scholars, and even on
modern ontological assets, including much of the criticism directed to the latter.
The advent of postcolonial and indigenous studies has been crucial in
denouncing the silencing of difference by the academy, recovering alterity as
an important analytical category for the discipline (Beier 2009; Chakrabarty
2000; Grovogui 2006; Inayatullah and Blaney 2004; Lightfoot 2016; Muppiddi
2012; Shaw 2008; Shilliam 2011; Smith 2012). Following this wave of criticism
and influenced by social scientists` research on Latin America (Blaser 2010; De
la Cadena 2010, 2015; Dussel 2013; Escobar, 2010, 2011, 2012; Latour 2010), the
notion of “pluriverse” has recently gained the attention of IR scholars (Conway
238 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
and Singh 2011; Querejazu 2016; Rojas 2015, 2016; Tickner and Blaney 2013,
2017; Youatt 2017; see also International Studies Association 2016 Program).
Related to the modes of life of “Non-Western” peoples, the term addresses the
complexity of social relations as it advocates the emergence of diverse knowledge
and cosmologies which, distinguished from the Modern one, do not place human
beings in the center of existence. On the contrary, this “other” perception of
“reality” as one composed of “many worlds” itself holds a subversive potential
to read critically IR. Nevertheless, the incorporation of this “other” expression
by scholars and the sense of novelty attributed to the “pluriverse” might obscure
a series of power disputes already present in the local sphere, and considered by
Blaser as his concept of “political ontology” refers not only to “a field of study
that focuses on the conflicts that ensue as different worlds or ontologies strive to
sustain their own existence as they interact and mingle with each other” but also
to “the politics involved in the practices that shape a particular world or ontology”
(BLASER, 2009, p. 877).
In fact, the relevance of stressing the “political” was pointed by Siba Grovogui
in the 56
International Studies Association Meeting as he questioned the “political
implications” regarding the emergence of other knowledge and its coexistence
with modern institutions already installed in the national and international
fields. Inspired by Grovogui`s interpellation, I analyze in this paper narratives
on Suma Qamaña, which synthesizes Aymara cosmology and is both reproduced
and criticized by political actors in Bolivia. I use the Bolivian case to illustrate:
the difficult relationship between the government and indigenous peoples, and
among the latter as well; and the consequences that surface once Suma Qamaña
is captured by Morales’ administration. I argue that discourse on Suma Qamaña
entails a strategy of power by both the Aymara people and the government. In
this article, I examine the term`s framing in literature, to which follows a brief
history of Suma Qamaña`s risen in Bolivian society and its connection to the
reconstruction of Aymara identity. Then, I analyze Suma Qamaña`s insertion
into governmental discourse. I conclude stressing the power disputes over Suma
Qamaña in the Andean country. I suggest that the emphasis attributed by IR
academics to its ontological potential without considering this strategic facet might
lead them to depoliticize the term and reproduce a similar pattern advanced by
other theorists and Morales` administration.
239Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
Suma Qamaña and the reconstruction of Aymara identity
Translated simply as Living Well (Vivir Bien, in Spanish), Suma Qamaña
consists in one of the expressions found in the international academic literature
devoted to the emergence of an other logic, proper of the Andean indigenous
peoples and opposed to modern rationality. Current work in Social Science points
Suma Qamaña as the aymara counterpart of the quechua Sumak Kawsay/Good
Living (Buen Vivir). Both are interpreted either as an alternative to development,
to capitalism, to coloniality, an example of solidarity economy or even as a
solution to the crises of human civilization (Acosta 2009; Dussel 2012; Escobar
2012a; Gudynas 2011; Lander 2010; Quijano 2012 Santos 2010; Walsh 2010). In
IR, references are still scarce and sometimes made in relation to the notion of
pluriverse, which translates theorists` effort to establish an ontological criticism
of the discipline, stressing its Western colonial feature and the need to incorporate
contributions from colonized peoples. That is the case of Querejazu (2016), who
advocates that Andean cosmovisions and their conceptual tools, such as the ayllu,
could foment IR discussion on multiple issues and bring a more inclusive facet
to the discipline.
A similar trend is found in Rojas`s publication on the pluriverse. Here, Suma
Qamaña is mentioned along with Sumak Kawsay only to express the difficulty
concerning translations among different “worlds”, following what Viveiros de
Castro (1996) pointed as the irreducible quality of the indigenous cosmology to
the notions of a rational-modern debate. Thus, the difficulty framing them in terms
of single units. Nevertheless, because these other subjectivities, to which Suma
Qamaña forms part, are presented as “oriented toward alternatives to colonial
logics” (ROJAS, 2016, p. 380), Rojas advocates their potential to decolonize
international politics. Earlier, the author had identified Suma Qamaña to practices
of decolonization, critical to the modern project of citizenship and its supposed
universality. Although the expression is related to the Aymara people, Rojas
(2015) also presented it as an equivalent of “Buen Vivir”, extensively pointed by
the literature as a translation of quechua Sumak Kawsay. Elsewhere, she framed
indigenous knowledge in Bolivia as an example of a “noncapitalist alternative”
which, together with its counterparts produced by diverse marginalized cultures in
Latin America and abroad, could encourage dialogue between different economic
practices. In that sense, indigenous knowledge in the Andean country would
present a possibility to decolonize International Political Economy fundaments and,
240 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
as such, to promote “development otherwise”, that is, a new form of economic
organization sustained in the co-existence of different “rationalities” (ROJAS,
2007, p. 585).
Although Rojas didn`t specifically mention Suma Qamaña nor Living Well,
she highlights Aymara descent of president Morales and his role, along with
indigenous intellectuals, including “other” proposition in norms and public
policies. Querejazu, in turn, grounds her analysis basically on propositions made
by several Bolivian indigenous and non-indigenous authors, including some
considered the founders of Suma Qamaña. The emphasis put by these IR authors
on Andean indigenous knowledge or simply indigenous knowledge in Bolivia, and
even Rojas` “noncapitalist alternative”/ “alternative to colonial logics” is quite
revealing. Their concern is first and foremost a theoretical one, which privileges
ontological difference presented by non-Western colonial worldviews and their
prospects for the discipline, leaving aside political disputes between the Bolivian
government and indigenous peoples, divergence among indigenous groups over
Suma Qamaña/Living Well. Thus, they put in second place strategies employed
by those actors. In doing so, they emulate somehow the work of social scientists
who focus on Andean indigenous knowledge and its otherness in relation to
Modernity, and stress only partially political implications regarding the emergence
of this “other” ontology in Bolivian society. More, they miss Suma Qamaña as a
strategy of power by both Aymara people and Morales` government.
Apart from the Spanish or English translation, Suma Qamaña and Sumak
Kawsay mean “life in plenitude”, referring to a dynamic process since “qamaña” and
“kawsay” indicate the relevance of “being” as condition of existence instead of “to
In the great tissue that represents life (Pacha), formed by the complementarity
of opposed forces (cosmic and telluric), everything is interconnected.
to this logic, human beings are just an integrative part of a whole, which embodies
the material plan, manifested in mineral, vegetable and animal forms, and the
supernatural one. Such an understanding relates to the Aymara principle Take
kunas jakaskkiwa (“Everything lives”): humans and non-humans (despite of their
material composition) emanate energy and comprise the cosmos which, at the
3 Qamaña is translated as “estar siendo” and Kawsay as “ser estando”. See Huanacuni (2010) “Vivir Bien/Buen
Vivir. Filosofía, políticas, estrategias y experiencias regionales” and Oviedo (2012) “Qué es el SUMAKAWSAY.
Tercera Via: Vitalismo, alternativa al capitalismo y el socialismo”.
4 Pacha, in aymara and quéchua, means life. “Pa” indicates number two, “paya”, and “cha” comes from the word
chama”, which denotes force/energy. Author`s personal notes.
241Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
microlevel, is reflected in the ayllu.
For that reason, existence implies a constant
search for balancing, for harmony between the visible and nonvisible worlds,
which is expressed in the modes of life of the so-called “ancestral” peoples, such
as indigenous ones.
Central to those modes of life is the practice of ceremonies since they establish
a connection between the worlds and guide social relations in community as well.
In Aymara communities, ceremonies are usually related to the Andean-Amazon
calendar, marked by agricultural cycles, and consist in acts of celebration of
life, during which rituals, music and dancing are performed. As a fundamental
expression of this symbiotic relation between what would otherwise be named as
man and nature, ceremonies are not separated, thus, from other activities, such
as economic production. This still holds despite the gradual marginalization of
rituals in everyday life of those groups, mainly in those whose majority of members
migrate to the cities.
Whereas Sumak Kawsay/Good Living is connected by academics to Ecuador,
Suma Qamaña/Living Well is related to indigenous experience in Bolivia. In both
cases, international literature puts special emphasis on the similarity between
those concepts and their understanding of the world, stressing Sumak Kawsay/
Good Living. As a result, academics neglect Bolivian experience, the disputes
occurred in the country and related to its colonial past/present, subsuming the
Aymara expression to the Quechua one. For IR, in particular, the consequences
presented by this move are multiple: as mentioned before, current analysis tend
to homogenize knowledge and modes of life enacted in distinct local/national
political conditions for the sake of theoretical robustness of their arguments
against the discipline’s Modern colonial logics and lack of pluralism. In that
way, they silence conflicts that surface on a daily basis, which puts their work in
sharp contrast with the literature on the pluriverse and political ontology, one of
their major references. Although IR scholars stress Modernity’s concealment of
knowledge and practices of other peoples, often colonized ones, through a series
of dichotomous pairs (nature versus culture, civilized versus non-civilized etc.),
they miss another important qualitative proposition presented in the literature
on the pluriverse.
As Blaser (2010) attentively put, the pluriverse is about different worlds, that
is, ontologies that interact and clash with each other, pervaded by power disputes,
5 Personal notes.
242 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
asymmetry and negotiations. If we understand that those disputes occur not only
between collective actors that reproduce different knowledge, modes of life, but
also among those actors themselves, we have a much more complex picture than
the one offered by IR authors, mostly focused on the dichotomy Modern/colonial
versus Non-Modern/decolonial/homogenized other. Alternatively, we would have
a non-romanticized analysis that contemplates the other in its otherness without
obliterating political dimension, an issue also discussed by De la Cadena (2015)
as well as postcolonial authors such as Memmi, and Fanon. That point is made
clear once we concentrate on the dynamics around Suma Qamaña. In what
follows, I stress the role of identity and the strategic incorporation of otherness
by indigenous peoples in Bolivian Highland.
Suma Qamaña/Living Well’s construction emerges in a context of indigenous
and peasantry resistance to neoliberal policies, that lead to the impoverishment
of society and affected severely those collective actors. Also, the risen of Suma
Qamaña should not be isolated from the formation of an Aymara intelligentsia
from the 1970`s on who, after their relative`s migration to the city of La Paz,
especially, tried to break the inferior status attributed to the indigenous and get
jobs other than housekeeper, artisan. The first quotes regarding Suma Qamaña date
back to the beginning of the 2000`s, a period of intense mobilization in Bolivia.
In the department of La Paz, the protesters were led by Aymara and Executive
Secretary of the Peasant Workers` Union Confederation of Bolivia (Confederación
Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia, CSUTCB) Felipe Quispe,
who succeeded in isolating the country`s administrative capital for months by
blocking the roads. Initially, their demands related to the concentration of land,
denouncing the misery experienced by small farmers and indigenous communities
besides the strong discrimination towards them. As conflict escalated, their
discourse included a critique to corruption, traditional political parties and, in
particular, to the racist colonial structure, crystallized in the difference between
indigenous groups and White-mestizo elite.
During the road-blocking, indigenous groups constructed a grammar of
empowerment, stressing the separation between “self” and “other”. As Mamani
(2012) states, those were exceptional moments that contributed to the development
of a common identification among the protesters, strengthening Aymara identity
by using of traditional clothing, whiphala (checked colorful flag that reflects
indigenous struggles in Spanish America) and pututu (brass instrument). The
243Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
exercise of ayni, expressed in the mutual help among community members and
the idea of reciprocity, and the achievement of consensus among participants
represented as well, according to the author, social codes embodied in the ayllu
(Andean indigenous community). As mobilization and identity reinvention
developed, insurgents began to reproduce a historical demand for territory and
autonomy, enacted by aymara people during colonial and republican Bolivia, as
shown by Choque (2012) and Thompson (2010) in their analysis on indigenous
struggles in the 19th and 18th centuries, respectively.
In that way, La Paz insurgency seemed to mark not just the search for liberation,
but also the return of an actor in his otherness, whose discourse reproduced some
of Fausto Reinaga`s appointments. First academic aymara whose work focused
on the relevance of indigenous empowerment for the reconstitution of Kollasuyu
and Tawantinsuyu
, Reinaga influenced following generations and had some of
his propositions incorporated by Quispe as a strategy to incite resistance:
“Since 1563 […] we`ve lost the State, and then political power, and then
the right to have our own president. […] What do we want? We want to
restore Tawantinsuyu […] Since Spaniards came […], we`ve been nothing
but cannonball. The truth is that this land (patria) is ours, they are stateless,
they have no State.
[…] Let`s see: who sweeps the street? We, the Indians. […] White people
are there as architects, engineers, staring down Indians that are working.
[…] I`ve mobilized people with this discourse. I formed myself intellectually
in Cuba. When I got here, I wanted to apply the same experienced I had
there. People didn`t understand me… Then, I thought: “How can I raise these
people? Oh, we should talk about the Incas, Katari, about the Aymara, our
life, the ayllu, the community, ayni”. They, then, lifted their neck like a llama.
That was the secret…” (DELGADO, 2014. Interview with Felipe Quispe,
La Paz, April 2013.
6 The Inca Empire, or Tawantinsuyu, was subdivided in many administrative regions (suyus). One of those was
Kollasuyu, which comprehended the highlands of Peru, Bolivia, as well as Northen Chile and Argentina. Kolla
is the one who is original from Kollasuyu.
7 “Desde 1563 [...] habemos perdido el Estado, luego el poder político, y luego tener nuestro próprio presidente.
[...] Qué pretendemos hacer nosostros? Nosotros queremos restaurar el Tawantinsuyu [...] Desde que han
llegado los españoles [...] hemos sido carne de cañon y nada más. Es verdade que esta pátria es nuestra, ellos
son apátridas, no tienen pátria.
[...] A ver: quien varre las calles? Nosotros, los índios. [...] Ser blanco ahí está como arquitecto, enginiero,
mirando los índios que están trabajando [...] Yo he levantado la gente con este discurso. Yo me he formado
en Cuba. Cuando he llegado acá, queria aplicar lo mismo. La gente no entendia... Entonces, yo de pronto he
pensado: “Cómo puedo levantar la gente? Hablaremos de los incas, de Katari, de aymara, nuestra vida, del ayllu,
de la comunidad, del ayni” La gente llevanta el cuello como uma llama. Entonces, ahí há estado el secreto...”
244 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
The passage above reflects a dynamic of identitarian redefinition and self-
affirmation, pointed by Mamani as one of the specificities of the indigenous uprising
in La Paz, as collective actions enabled and were pervaded by a discourse that
separated “them” (White/mestizo) from “us” (indigenous/peasantry). Quispe`s
idea was to “indianize” indigenous peoples, recovering their identity and self-
esteem and, as a result, preparing them for the “Indian Revolution” defended
by Reinaga (2011). Such a revolution would consist not just in the State reform,
but in restoring political power using a military and rhetorical strategy, stressing
difference. Liberation, thus, would entail a violent and radical process, reflecting
Fanon`s concept of decolonization and the author`s perception that the goal of
the colonized is to occupy the place of the colonizer, that is, to occupy political
institutions, to rule the State (FANON, 2004). Moreover, Quispe`s el ayllu, la
comudad, el ayniwords reveal the enduring feature of colonial difference, the
connection of the ethno-racial and class problematic, described by Bhabha as the
“racialization of inequality” (BHABHA, 2004, xiii), and which is not overcome
after formal Independence.
Another point highlighted in the interview, which relates to Fanon`s propositions,
is the Manichean vision of the colonial world, the sense for the colonized that
the colonizer represents the foreigner that took over indigenous land, updating
the category of colonizer, now represented by the White-mestizo elite. Quispe,
then, tries to subvert colonial difference, pointing White-mestizo as the “other”
and presenting indigenous world as “fundamentally different” (FANON, 2004,
p. 6). In that way, essence will be mobilized as a discursive principle capable
to foment indigenous empowerment, in what Memmi called the “return of the
pendulum”: “What remained for the colonized (and in general, for all oppressed
people, I would later argue) was simply to accept themselves, since no one else
would accept them. […] There was no other way out” (MEMMI, 2000, p.48).
Thus, Memmi, argues
“to affirm one`s difference becomes the condition of self-affirmation, the
banner for the individual or collective reappropriation of one`s self. Where,
in the first instance, the dominant affirmed their difference over and against
those they oppressed, in the last, the oppressed reclaim their differences
against the dominant” (MEMMI, 2000, p. 48-49).
Although diverse from Quispe`s approach, self-affirmation is also displayed
in narratives on Suma Qamaña/Living Well. In this case, the emphasis put on
245Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
the existence of essentially different worlds (the indigenous` world and White-
mestizo Western one) reflects aymara academics effort to demonstrate Suma
Qamaña as a new paradigm for humanity (Huanacuni 2010; Yampara 2001, 2005).
Here, colonial difference is framed explicitly in cosmological terms and denotes
an abyss between distinct modes of life – Western-modern vs. indigenous one:
One is the Western cosmovision, where not only theological theory is
privileged but, in it, the protagonist and privileged role of Man over other
members of the biotic community as if the world was in his hands and had
natural tributes to domesticate, take and pillage territories, resources and
peoples – Uraqit yanaka yaqha markanakampi apsuyasa jakaña – that`s the
logic of capital`s worlding and the role of transnational companies. In this
cosmovision, material and spiritual expressions are divorced […].
Other very distinct is Qamañ-Pacha Andean cosmovision of harmonic
coexistence, integral welfare of all members of the biotic community and,
as such, a respect for integral life not just human`s […]. Here the problem
of spiritual treatment is part of life. It requires interaction among forces and
energies using deities to reach harmony and welfare, even though that`s
understood as paganism and superstition in the Western space. In the Andean
cosmovision, that`s a vital part of life [...]. (YAMPARA, 2005, p. 57, translated
by us/our translation)
Interestingly, the discursive devices for self-affirmation mentioned above
also seems to reflect what De la Cadena (2015) observes as “cosmopolitics”. By
denouncing “Western cosmovision” (to use Yampara’s words) and its contradictions,
indigenous academics find a way to act in Western-Modern world. This is possible
because, while stressing colonial difference in cosmological terms, those academics
were able to establish a dialogue, a connection to this non-indigenous world so
that Suma Qamaña is presented as a “new paradigm for humanity”. Thus, while
rejecting the nature-humanity divide, as De la Cadena states, this does not prevent
8 Una es la cosmovisón occidental donde no solo se privilegia la teoria teológica, sino en ella, el rol protagónico
y privilegiado del hombre sobre los otros seres membros de la comunidad biótica, cuál si el mundo estuviera
en sus manos y tenga los atributos naturales de domesticar, coger y saquear territórios, recursos y pueblos –
Uraqit yanaka yaqha markanakampi apsuyasa jakaña – eso es la lógica de la mundialización del capital y el rol
de las transnacionales. En esta cosmovision, están separadas, divorciadas la expression material de las cosas
de las expresiones espirituales […]
Outra muy distinta es la cosmovisión andina Qamañ-Pacha de la convivencialidad armónica de bienestar integral
de los seres membros de la comunidade biótica, por tanto respeto a la vida integral y no solo humano [...] Aqui,
el problema del tratamento espiritual es parte de la vida. Es más bien, interacionar por médio de las deidades
essas fuerzas y energias hacia la armonía y bienestar, si bien eso se entende como paganismo o superchería
desde el espacio occidental. En la cosmovisión andina eso es parte vital de la vida [...].
246 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
indigenous from getting closer and, sometimes, capitalize on it. So, consonant with
Fanon’s and Memmi’s discussion, De la Cadena’s argument ratifies the political
dimension of indigenous empowerment, to which narratives on Suma Qamaña
forms part. Yet, it should be mentioned that aymara intelligentsias conceptions
are not homogeneous, comprising much disagreement over the years.
Yampara`s propositions consisted in a watershed: not only have they influenced
the work of other authors, such as Javier Medina (2006) and Josef Estermann
(2012), but also fomented academic debate. Such a debate is marked either by a
critique toward essentialism, what would be a mythification of indigenous peoples,
either by a conceptual problem regarding Suma Qamaña (Choque 2013; Kallisapa
2013; Macusaya Cruz 2013; Portugal Mollinedo 2013; Spedding 2010; Stefanoni
2012; Untoja 2012). In any case, those critique reflect the echo encountered by
the expression among Bolivian intellectuals (indigenous and non-indigenous) and
prompted them in developing studies on the issue to improve definition or even just
to mark ideological positions and stress the political facet of indigenous struggles.
So, at first, Suma Qamaña discourse was marked by the Highland insurgency
against Bolivian State. Passed a decade from those events, such a discourse still
resonates in a society characterized in these late years by the “whitening” of many
indigenous that migrated to the cities and their descendants.
Certainly, a closer view of Bolivian society reveals a demystification of the
indigenous as merely a community member or a minor worker: indigenous groups
are much more heterogeneous as collective actors and englobe an emerging class
of Aymara and Quechua business men, also defined by Untoja (2012a) as “Kolla
hegemony”, small farmers and great landowners. The positions assumed by these
actors reflect and reproduce power disputes in the national scene, which the
government`s manipulation of Suma Qamaña takes part of. In the next section,
I analyze Morales`s administration discourse on this Other knowledge and its
projection in the international community.
9 This is suggested by Benjo Alconz, member of the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu
(Conamaq), in his intervention during the Foro Estado Plurinacional VS. Estado Republicano (Plurinational
State VS Republican State Foro), occurred on October 2
, 2012. La Paz, Bolivia. Author`s notes.
247Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
Para Vivir Bien: the governmental discourse and its insertion
in the international sphere
Para Vivir Bien (In order to Live Well) consists in the main slogan adopted by
Morales’ administration and reproduced constantly by diverse State institutions
in order to legitimize public policies.
The overwhelming reproduction of Suma
Qamañas Spanish translation by the government made some critics point to a
process of political emptiness of the term that would serve to sustain domination
through the praise and visibility of the indigenous subject in the official discourse
(Mamani 2007). In fact, as an expression capable of being applied to distinct issues,
Vivir Bien (Living Well) removes the political content of indigenous resistance
as well as the cosmological facet regarding Suma Qamaña, despite the former`s
identification as an “indigenous proposition”. In that way, the appropriation of
otherness in governmental discourse through the incorporation of indigenous
ceremonies in the State protocol, the creation of norms, or even the organization
of annual meetings with indigenous and peasant leaders would function first and
foremost as a device to get their support and keep political alliance.
As those meetings lost gradually their co-ruling feature and assumed a
consultative status, and as the Executive started to criminalize indigenous leaders
who considered extractivist policies contrary to their self-determination and modes
of life, the government’s modus operandi became manifest as one of including
otherness narrowly. The goal was to create a favorable scenario to governand
guarantee the new political elite`s permanence in State institutions (DELGADO,
2014). The absorption of Suma Qamaña as a rhetorical device, which excludes
the incorporation and implementation of the logic underlying the expression, is
observed in Bolivian Constitution as well as in the National Development Plan
Bolivia Digna, Soberana, Productiva y Democrática Para Vivir Bien: Lineamientos
Estratégicos 2006-2011 (Dignified, Sovereign, Productive and Democratic Bolivia
In Order to Live Well: Strategic Lineament 2006-2011) (BOLIVIA, 2007). In the
first instance, Living Well and some of the characteristic attributed to the term –
complementarity, harmony, balancing – are linked either to moral values, either
to economic and political matters that should be assured by the State. Except
for article 8, Suma Qamaña is replaced in the document by “Living Well” or “in
order to Live Well”, the latter indicating not just a sense of purpose but also a
10 Some of those policies are found in Viceministerio de Tierras: Memoria 2012, Agenda Presidencial 2012, and
the National Tax Service`s website.
248 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
self-explanatory tone: its use as the ethos of Plurinational Bolivia would justify
in and of itself the duties and role of the State as regulator of activities in general
and promoter of development despite the normative advocates mechanisms of
participatory democracy (see, for example, articles 241, 241 and 316).
“Otherness” is, then, stressed as a subterfuge to promote political centralization
in the hands of Morales` government as representative of the State. This governmental
tactic and the issues highlighted above appear more clearly concerning the National
Development Plan (NDP). The normative, which evokes Living Well along with
development, economic productivity and Bolivian sovereignty, reflects what would
seem at first a misconception regarding Suma Qamaña, as affirmed by one of the
main proponents of the term, foreign minister Choquehuanca: “Maybe we are
still using Western concepts. Instead of speaking of a National Development Plan,
we should speak of a National Plan about Returning to Balancing, or a National
Plan of Life, because development is related to living better, not to Living Well”
(CHOQUEHUANCA, 2010, p. 33). But a closer look uncovers the discursive strategy
employed by the government in which Living Well stands as an extension of
development. The plan`s importance concerns not just its content but the display
of an academic grammar, involving a debate on Living Well and its crucial feature
to the refunding of Bolivian State.
In that sense, Living Well is classified as the knowledge “characteristic
of original and indigenous culture of Bolivia”, a “cosmocentric vision that
overcomes traditional ethnocentric concepts on development” that reflects “the
community`s intercultural coexistence with the other without power asymmetry”,
“different from Western “living better”” (BOLIVIA, 2007, p. 8). The expression
is, thus, understood as the inverse of development whose absorption in State
Project would reflect indigenous demand of decolonization. Nevertheless, Suma
Qamaña`s incorporation corresponds to the exaltation of difference and political
emptiness pattern observed before: once transformed into Living Well, the term
is adjusted to State parameters. Its resignification endows official discourse with
a new face although, in its structure, the content remains unaltered as suggested
by the employment of terms such as “new proposal of development”, “new
pattern of development”, “alternative paradigm to development”. Interestingly, the
latter reveals the capture of the world “paradigm”, pointed by some indigenous
academics, along with “alternative to development”, a notion widely rejected
by Aymara proponents. This suggests a strategic inclusion of Suma Qamaña`s
grammar into State`s Living Well discourse:
249Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
Living Well is the demand for development`s humanization […] Living
Well is the access to the enjoyment of material resources and of effective,
subjective, intellectual and spiritual fulfillment, in balancing with nature and
in community with human beings. […] The linear and sequential concept of
progress is insufficient to comprise the new proposal of development because
it requires an integral, holistic, radical and accumulative understanding
capable of including non-homogenous situations […]. It unites practices and
knowledge from different social actors […] (BOLIVIA, 2007, p. 9)
The new policy proposes the concept of “development pattern” in opposition
to “development model” because it does not search nor utilizes a proved
and validated prototype as it seeks to build a new development pattern as a
replacement for primary-export model (BOLIVIA, 2007, p. 12)
Through the manipulation of those terms, State`s discourse provides a
critique towards development as an ethnocentric understanding of the world,
that reproduces power asymmetry and silences other forms of knowledge. In that
sense, it seeks to transpose to the NDP the tension expressed in Suma Qamaña
literature between two opposite worlds: indigenous and Western ones. Moreover,
its sophisticated grammar establishes a nexus with the propositions of some
decolonial authors, as observed in the use of “intercultural coexistence” or the
idea that “interculturality is the driving force” of the new development`s pattern
(BOLIVIA, 2007, p. 13). Besides “interculturality”, other expressions are widely
found along the Plan and in decolonial literature as well as “decolonization”,
coloniality”, “colonialism” (Quijano 2005; Walsh, García Linera and Mignolo
2006). Nevertheless, as one proceeds with the document`s reading, the emphasis
on the empowerment of historically marginalized actors gives way gradually to the
prominence of the State as a “transforming force of change” (NDP, 2007, p. 15),
whose capacity of guaranteeing the necessary shifts in Bolivian society is linked
to the State`s return as the promoter of development.
The centralization of power by the State is justified as a condition for recovering
Bolivian natural resources, which plays a crucial role in the redistribution of
11 “El Vivir Bien es la demanda de humanización del desarrollo [...] el Vivir Bien es el acceso y disfrute de los
bienes materiales y de la realización efectiva, subjetiva, intelectual y espiritual, en armonía con la naturaleza
y en comunidad con los seres humanos. [...] La concepción lineal y secuencial de progreso es insuficiente para
comprender la nueva propuesta de desarrollo porque requiere de una comprensión integral, holística, radial y
acumulativa, capaz de abarcar situaciones no homogéneas [...]. Asimismo une diversas prácticas y conocimientos
provenientes de actores sociales diferentes [...]”
12 “La nueva política propone el concepto de “patrón de desarrollo” en oposición al “modelo de desarrollo” porque
no sigue ni utiliza un prototipo probado y validado, sino que plantea construir un nuevo patrón de desarrollo
en sustitución del primario exportador”
250 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
wealth, and the exercise of sovereignty in midst Morales`s government decision
to nationalize hydrocarbons and transnational companies: “Strategic sectors are
composed of hydrocarbons, mining, electricity and environmental resources,
that protect nationality because they comprise natural resources, regained
and recognized as State property” (BOLIVIA, 2007, p. 98). Such sectors would
demand a high investment which “explains the necessity of having the State as
the protagonist of development by creating or refounding State companies that
promote development of these sectors, maximize surplus[…] in a context of
balancing with environment” (BOLIVIA, 2007, p. 133-134). Part of this scenario is
the industrialization of natural resources, which has received the administration`s
attention, as suggested by the advance of gas` processing, the settlement of an
industry of urea in partnership with Samsung etc.
Those examples have no connection with Suma Qamaña propositions; on
the contrary, they relate to a development Project sustained in the following
pillars: State interventionism, reduction of poverty through wealth redistribution,
industrialization and economic growth.
Those pillars are pointed by several
authors as the characteristics of developmentalist governments in 21st century
Latin America and their focus on the extraction and export of natural resources
(see Boschi and Gaitán 2009; Gudynas 2009; Svampa 2013; Vidal 2008). In that
sense, the NDP would fit the extractivist regional agenda, which completely
shocks with indigenous rights, as showed in Isiboro Sécure National Park and
Indigenous Territory`s case and the criminalization of indigenous leaders who
opposed governmental policies (DELGADO, 2017).
Regarding national sovereignty, the issue figures as a principle to be achieved
through State`s empowerment to guarantee development, national unity and a new
political pact, despite other types of sovereignty are mentioned (food sovereignty,
sanitary sovereignty, indigenous land`s sovereignty). So, on the one hand, the
document attests popular participation based on State decentralization and Living
Well. On the other, the Plan promotes power recentralization via policies of
nationalization, industrialization and the provision of public goods, making the
State the promoter par excellence of change in Bolivian society. In this process,
the focus on natural resources control and the incorporation of Suma Qamaña/
13 Those pillars are observed not just in official documents but also in diverse news. See Agenda Patriótica 2025,
Vásquez (2013) and Agencia Boliviana de Información (2013, 2013a).
251Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
Living Well as the pillar for a “new type of development” function as a device to
accomplish a national Project and, simultaneously, to express Bolivian State self-
image, its uniqueness in the international sphere. This confirms Inayatullah and
Blaney`s (1995) observation on State sovereignty realization and its connection to
wealth access, which puts difficulty for Third World States due to inequality that
marks global division of labor. Because states need economic means to exercise
their sovereignty, understood by the authors not just as independence but also as
the expression of a state`s exceptionality in international community, the property
of natural resources for Bolivia would consist in a condition for the government
to accomplish its unique national Project and, consequently, to realize its self-
image abroad, as discussed below.
Suma Qamaña`s discursive instrumentalization as a source of legitimacy and
exceptionality in international society found in foreign minister Choquehuanca a
relevant broker, who mediated the contact between the former and the national
Once absorbed in presidential discourse through the articulation
with Bolivian Foreign Ministry, Living Well is catapulted to international fora,
projecting simultaneously the country, Morales` administration as an “indigenous
government” and the President himself. Besides the minister`s speeches and texts
prepared for courses abroad, statements such as “[…] Bolivia begins a strategy
that aims to achieve the reconstruction of Living Well and save Mother Earth”
(CHOQUEHUANCA, 2010, p.) ratify the points highlighted before:
[...] Bolivia consists in a Messenger for Peace and a Guardian of Life for the
entire planet. […]
The profound change and transformation we are achieving are not just for us,
they are proposals and alternative for the world, humanity and the planet.
They are light to other peoples that struggle to change their history since there
is no other Project in this planet that represents other choice and considers
the global level.
If the challenge was big, now the responsibility and challenge are much
bigger, now hope is shared by the whole humanity from each corn of the
planet, because environmental, financial, political and social crisis we`ve
been facing in our territory affect global level and comprise the planet [..]
14 According to the literature on social movements, a broker stands as an actor (a person or even an organization)
that connects social spaces previously isolated or, in this case, we might think of two different worlds. See
Tarrow and McAdam (2005).
252 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
In this context, facing the threat of global crisis, our brother president releases
to the world Ten Mandaments in order to save the planet, humanity and life
(CHOQUEHUANCA 2010a, 72)
The quotations demonstrate the government`s initiative to project Bolivia,
crediting the country`s relevance for the planet to its process of decolonization
which, in turn, is linked to Living Well as the bedrock of an exceptional national
Project expressed in the Constitution, economic policies and reforms in general.
Suma Qamaña`s definition as an alternative for humanity is, thus, absorbed and
transposed to the Nation-State as the official representative of such proposal in
the international arena. Those observations are also illustrated by the President,
during his speech in the Climate Change Meeting, held in Copenhagen. For him, the
event presented for Bolivia the chance to “keep our strategy towards Living Well`s
reconstruction and the defense of Mother Earth, to advance Ten Mandaments`
propositions for saving the planet […], to take our responsibility in maintaining
Balancing with Nature” (MORALES, 2010, p. 27).
Suma Qamaña`s transformation into Living Well involves also an academic
framing which, reproducing the strategy adopted in the NDP, reflects the
administration`s effort to sustain legitimacy among its intellectual allies from abroad
by applying their conceptual tools and, in parallel, advance the construction of an
exceptionalism. Thus, the idea of creating a “new socialism” or a “communitarian
socialism” to improve “21st century Socialism”, stated in official documents, relates
not just to the Bolivarian model employed by Chaves` government. Indeed, the
expressions unveil a closer connection with Santos`s “Good Living Socialism”,
understood as a “mix of knowledge, ancestral knowledge with modern, Eurocentric,
progressist one” (SANTOS, 2010, p. 7). The words of president Evo Morales and
vice president Álvaro García, pronounced during VIII Congress of Movimiento al
Socialismo (governmental political party), made clear this approach. While the
15 [...] Bolivia se constituye em um Mensajero de la Paz y Guardián de la Vida para todo el planeta. [...]
Los câmbios y transformaciones profundas que estamos realizando no son solo para nosotros, son propuestas
y alternativas para el mundo, para la humanidade y el planeta. Son luces para los otros pueblos que luchan
para cambiar sus historias, ya que no existe en este momento, en el planeta, outro proyecto que represente
alternativas que toman em cuenta el nivel global.
Sí antes el desafio era grande, ahora la responsabilidade y los desafios son mucho mayores, ahora la esperanza
es compartida por la humanidade entera y de todo el planeta, porque las crisis ambientales, financeiras,
política y social, que estamos enfrentando em nuestro território, afecya a nível global y abarca el conjunto del
planeta [...]
Em esse contexto, ante la amenaza de las crisis globales, nuestro Hermano Presidente lanza al mundo los Diez
Mnadamentos para salvar al planeta, a la humanidad y la vida.
253Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
former claimed that this new socialism was grounded on Living Well, going beyond
class conflict, García explained: “these are the sources of our socialism: on the
one hand, the working class, contemporary science and technology and, on the
other, communitarism […]; the sum of worker`s world and communitarian world
[…] are the sources of Communitarian Socialism” (quoted in Villanueva 2012).
Hence, the quotations above disclose Suma Qamaña/Living Well`s framing so
it could provide academic support and, at the same time, fit the cosmology into
slogans and governmental policies. Here, what is at stake is not the implementation
of Living Well in accordance with indigenous intellectuals` proposals, which
are presented as radically distinct from the Western world and its capitalist and
socialist models. On the contrary, what is at stake is the instrumentalization of
Suma Qamaña, transforming the expression into an authentic proposal of socialism
under Morales` administration, different from other socialist experiences developed
around the globe. Because of its supposed uniqueness, Communitarian Socialism
would function not just as an appealing construct to the academic field but also
as a source of power to its advocates, that is, governmental authorities that
would detain what Inayatullah (200 8) names as “exclusive knowledge”. Related
to civilizatory and evangelist policies of colonization, as well as to international
donation to Third World countries, this expression indicates the superiority of one
group based on their singular knowledge about the world, which would endow
them with legitimacy and authority over the “other”.
In the Bolivian case, Communitarian Socialism works to project the State
and the government abroad by capturing the reclaim of exceptionality made by
former proponents of Suma Qamaña and transforming it into something else. In
parallel, the absorption of its conceptual tools also functions as a strategy that
seeks to gain recognition from indigenous and peasants` organizations, which
form the major support base of Morales’ administration, despite the opposition
of many indigenous and non-indigenous intellectuals. Thus, while Suma Qamaña
instrumentalization might look at first as an opportunity for indigenous movements
to transpose it internationally, giving resonance to their mobilization, this projection
seems delusional once one realizes that such a process entails the concept`s
inclusion in policies that put the sovereign State as the protagonist of political
game. Through such an inclusion, Suma Qamaña`s proposals are adjusted by the
official discourse, which reproduces the maintenance of exclusionary structures
under a supposedly indigenous government.
16 For a previous version regarding “communitarian socialism”, see Morales (2010a).
254 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
In this article, I`ve argued that Suma Qamaña/Living Well entails a strategy
of power by both Aymara people and the government. Initially attributed to an
Aymara intelligentsia, such a discourse worked to reinforce difference, giving it a
positive facet, and promote indigenous self-affirmation. Considering the context
in which it emerged, Suma Qamaña cannot be detached from the mobilizations
developed in the Bolivian Highland nor from the restructure of the ayllu. In that
sense, it played a crucial role in the recovery of identity and the promotion of
awareness among indigenous peoples, especially Aymara, an issue pointed by
Cesaire (2000) as relevant for the liberation of the colonized. Nevertheless, Suma
Qamaña/Living Well`s construction is also linked to conflicts of power in the
discursive field. On the one hand, it evokes criticism by many Bolivian intellectuals,
some of them Aymara. On the other, its incorporation by international academics
works in diverse ways: be it through the preponderance of Sumak Kawsay/Good
Living, the emphasis attributed to it as synonym of “Andean indigenous thought”
or even as an alternative to development, to capitalism and to colonial logic. In
any case, Suma Qamaña is transformed by theorists into expressions that tend
to confirm their theoretical hypothesis, leaving aside political disputes that take
place in the local dimension.
Considering IR scholars, they not just reproduce previous Social Science
literature on the issue but also reinforce the tendency mentioned above as their
focus is first and foremost a theoretical one. The concern with the ontological
difference presented by non-Western colonial worldviews and their prospects for
the discipline has as a result the depolitization of Suma Qamaña. In this case,
they put in second place divergence over the Aymara cosmology, which involve
indigenous and non-indigenous intellectuals. Because such divergence reflects
not just an effort to provide conceptual accuracy, but also the growing tension
between the government and indigenous movements that lead to the fragmentation
of the latter, IR theorists miss the strategies employed by those actors in the
Bolivian political game as well. In doing so, they mention only partially political
implications regarding the emergence of this “other” ontology in Bolivian society,
stressing the friction between Suma Qamaña and Modern logics but not necessarily
the continues process of domination and resistance that crosses those disputes,
nourishes them, and puts into check the progressive, essentialist and delusional
255Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
character regarding decolonization and indigenous movements in Bolivia.
As a result, IR authors tend to promote a romanticized critique vision of
Modern/rational versus Non-Modern logics, the latter represented by a homogenized
knowledge/mode of life. And because homogenization and essentialization remove
memories pervaded by struggles and stories of the other, as pointed out by
Barthes (2002), they depoliticize the colonized. Thus, in the discipline’s literature
theoretical issues take precedence over empirical research, and the political
component of Suma Qamaña, as developed in the local dimension and projected
to the international, is underestimated. In doing so, IR authors reproduce and
reinforce a similar pattern of depolitization advanced by Social Scientists.
Suma Qamaña`s depolitization is prompted by Morales government, although
in a distinct manner when compared to academic literature. In that case, the Aymara
concept is incorporated by the ruling elite through the exaltation of otherness
whilst its cosmological content is not followed by political leaders in public
policies. Converted into Living Well, Suma Qamaña is then applied as a useful
slogan in official propaganda: as an expression of what is essentially different
in Bolivia, Living Well serves to legitimize the administration and, in parallel,
project Bolivia and its government, as well as its indigenous president. Thus, as an
organizing principle of discourse, Suma Qamaña is immersed in political disputes
that develop in the local sphere and inform the international, which in turn also
impact the local, creating a dynamic process. Because conflicts of power and the
strategies employed by the actors involved are not considered by international
literature, because there is gap between theoretical and empirical research, political
implications are only partially considered and Suma Qamaña becomes politically
empty in its content. Finally, it should be highlighted that, once Suma Qamaña
is transformed into expressions that fulfill theorists’ hypothesis and their anxiety
for change, IR scholars also contribute to the creation of slogans, which puts into
jeopardy their own goal for decolonization.
Agencia Boliviana de Información. “Ministro Arce asegura que Bolivia redujo en 60 veces
la brecha entre ricos y pobres.” La Razón, 14 enero 2013. Disponível em: <http://
256 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
a. “Ban Ki-moon destaca crecimiento económico de Bolivia y liderazgo mundial de
Morales.” La Razón, 25 Septiembre 2013. Disponível em: <http://www.la-razon.
ACHARYA, Amitav; BARRY Buzan (Eds.). Non-Western International Relations Theory.
Perspectives on and beyond Asia. London: Routledge, 2010.
ACOSTA, Alberto. La maldición de la abundancia. Quito: Ediciones Abya-Yala, 2009.
ALCONZ, Benjo. Intervention during “Foro Estado Plurinacional VS. Estado Republicano”.
La Paz, October 2, 2012. Personal Notes.
ASHLEY, Richard. “Untying the Sovereign State: a Double Reading of the Anarchy
Problematique.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 17 (2) 1998: 227-262.
BARTHES, Roland. Mitologias. São Paulo: Editora Difel, 2002.
BEIER, J. Marshall. International Relations in Uncommon Places: Indigeneity,Cosmology,
and the Limits of International Theory. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009
BHABHA, Hommi. “Framing Fanon”. In: FANON, Franz. The Wretched of the Earth. New
York: Grove Press, 2004.
BIERSTEKER, Thomas J. “The Parochialism of Hegemony: Challenges for ‘American’ Inter-
national Relations.” In TICKNER, Arlene B. Tickner; WEAVER, Ole (Eds.). International
Relations Scholarship Around the World. London: Routledge, 2009: 308-327.
BLASER, Mario. “Political Ontology: Cultural Studies without ‘cultures’?” Cultural
Studies, 23 (5) 2009, p.873-896.
____. Storytelling Globalization from the Chaco and Beyond. Durham: Duke University
Press, 2010.
BOLIVIA. Plan Nacional de Desarrollo. Bolivia Digna, Soberana, Productiva y Democrática
para Vivir Bien – Lineamientos Estratégicos 2006-2011. La Paz: Ministerio de Planificación
del Desarrollo – Gaceta Oficial de Bolivia, 2007.
____. “El Presidente en Acción...”, in: Agenda Presidencial, Año 1, No. 1. La Paz: Ministerio
de Comunicación – Gaceta Oficial de Bolivia, 2012.
____. Memória. Sembrando esfuerzos para vivir bien. La Paz: Viceministerio de Tierras
– Gaceta Oficial de Bolivia, 2012a.
____. Agenda Patriótica 2025. 13 Pilares de la Bolivia Digna y Soberana. La Paz: Gaceta
Oficial de Bolivia, 2013.
BOSCHI, Renato; GAITÁN, Flavio. “Politics and Development: Lessons from Latin
America.” Brazilian Political Science Review 3 (2) 2009, p. 11-29.
CÉSAIRE, Aime. Discourse on Colonialism. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000.
CHAKRABARTY, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.
CHOQUE, Roberto. Historia de una lucha desigual. Los contenidos ideológicos y políticos
de las rebeliones indígenas de la Pre y la Post Revolución Nacional. La Paz: Andrés
Bello, 2012.
257Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
____. Interview [March, 2013]. Interviewer: Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado. La Paz.
2 archives (120 min).
CHOQUEHUANCA, David. “Es fundamental da construcción entre todos del Plan Nacional
de la Vida.” In: BOLIVIA. Vivir Bien: Mensajes y documentos sobre el Vivir Bien 1995-
2010. Serie Diplomacia por la Vida, Vol. 3, p.30-42. La Paz, Ministerio De Relaciones
Exteriores: Gaceta Oficial de Bolivia, 2010.
____. “Los Guerreros del Arco Iris.” In: BOLIVIA. Vivir Bien: Mensajes y documentos
sobre el Vivir Bien 1995-2010. Serie Diplomacia por la Vida, Vol. 3, p. 68-74. La Paz,
Ministerio De Relaciones Exteriores: Gaceta Oficial de Bolivia, 2010a.
CONWAY, Janet; SING,Jakeet. “Radical Democracy in Global Perspective: notes from the
pluriverse.” Third World Quarterly 32 (4) 2011, p.689–706.
COX, Robert. Production, Power and World Order: Social Forces in the Making of History.
New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.
DE LA CADENA, Marisol. “Indigenous Cosmopolitics in the Andes: Conceptual Reflections
beyond “Politics.” Cultural Anthropology 25(2), 2010, p.334–370.
____. Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds. Durham: Duke University
Press, 2015.
DELGADO, Ana Carolina Teixeira. Guerreiros do Arco-Íris: os caminhos e descaminhos
da descolonização na Bolívia no início do século XXI. Tese (Doutorado em Relações
Internacionais). Instituto de Relações Internacionais – Pontifícia Universidade Católica
do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro, 2014.
____. “The TIPNIS Conflict in Bolivia”. Contexto Internacional, vol. 39(2) May/Aug 2017,
p. 373-391.
DUSSEL, Enrique. Lecture during Primer Encuentro del Buen Vivir, March 2012.
____. Agenda for a South-South Philosophical Dialogue.” Human Architecture: Journal
of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge 11(1) 2013, p.3-18.
ESCOBAR, Arturo. “Latin America at a Crossroads.” Cultural Studies 24 (1) 2010, p.1–65.
____. “Sustainability: Design for the pluriverse.” Development 54(2) 2011, p.137– 140.
____. “Más allá del desarrollo : postdesarrollo y transiciones hacia el pluriverso.” Revista
de Antropologia Social 21, 2012, p.23–62.
____. Una minga para el postdesarrollo: lugar, medio ambiente y movimientos sociales
en las transformaciones globales. Bogotá D.C.: Ediciones desde abajo, 2012a.
ESTERMANN, J. “Cris civilizatoria y Vivir Bien. Una crítica fílosófica del modelo capitalista
desde el allin kawsay/suma qamaña andino.” Polis, Revista de la Universidad
Bolivariana 11 (33) 2012, p.149-174.
FANON, Franz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press, 2004.
258 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
GROVOGUI, Siba. Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy. Memories of International order
and Institutions. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006.
GUDYNAS, Eduardo. “Diez tesis urgentes sobre el nuevo extractivismo. Contextos y
demandas bajo el progresismo sudamericano actual.” In GUDYNAS, Eduardo et al
(Eds.). Extractivismo, política y sociedad Quito: CAAP (Centro Andino de Acción
Popular) y CLAES (Centro Latino Americano de Ecología Social), 2009, p. 187-225.
____. “Buen vivir: Germinando alternativas al desarrollo.” América Latina en movimiento,
año XXXV, segunda época, 2011.
HOBSON, John M. The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International
Theory, 1760-2010. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
HOFFMANN, Stanley. “An American Social Science: International Relations.” Daedalus,
Vol. 106, No. 3, Discoveries and Interpretations: Studies in Contemporary
Scholarship, Volume I (Summer, 1977), p.41-60
HUANACUNI, Fernando. Buen Vivir/Vivir Bien Filosofía, Políticas, Estrategias Y
Experiencias Regionales Andinas. Lima: Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones
Indígenas (CAOI), 2010.
IKEDA, Josuke. “The Post-Western Turn in International Thoery and the English School.”
Ritsumeikan Annual Review of International Studies 9, 2010, p.29-44.
INAYATULLAH, Naeem. “Why do some people think they know what is good for others?”
In: EDKIN, Jenny; ZEHFUSS, Maja (Eds). Global Politics: A New Introduction. New
York: Routledge, 2008, p.344-69.
INAYATULLAH, Naeem; BLANEY, David. “Realizing Sovereignty.” Review of International
Studies 21 (1), 1995, p. 3-20.
____. International Relations and the Problem of Difference. New York: Routledge, 2004.
International Studies Association. 2016. “ISA 2016 Program”. <http://www.isanet.org/
JONES, Branwen Gruffydd (Ed). Decolonizing International Relations. Lanham, MD:
Rowman and Littlefield, 2006.
KALLISAPA, Illapa. La Paz, Musef, 08/05/2013. 1 arquivo mp3 (130 min).
LANDER, Edgardo. “Estamos viviendo una profunda crisis civilizatoria.” In: América
Latina en Movimiento 452, 2010, p. 1-3.
LATOUR, Bruno. “An Attempt at a “Compositionist Manifesto”” New Literary History 41,
2010, p. 471–490
LIGHTFOOT, Sheryl. Global Indigenous Politics: a Subtle Revolution. New York: Routledge,
MACUSAYA, Carlos. “La Idea de los abuelos.” Soundcloud, December 28th, 2013.
259Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
MAMANI RAMÍREZ, Pablo. “Evo Morales entre revolución india o contra revolución
india.” Willka 1 (1), 2007, p. 9-49.
____. Wiphalas y Fusiles. Poder comunal y el levantamiento aymara de Achakachi-
Omasuyus (2000-2001). La Paz: Flacso, 2012.
MEDINA, Javier. Suma Qamaña. Por una convivialidad postindustrial. La Paz: Garza
Azul Editores, 2006.
MEMMI, Albert. Racism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.
MORALES AYMA, Evo. “Referéndum Mundial y Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos
sobre el cambio climatic para elegir la Cultura de la Vida o la Cultura de la Muerte”.
In: BOLIVIA.. Vivir Bien: Mensajes y documentos sobre el Vivir Bien 1995-2010.
Serie Diplomacia por la Vida, Vol. 3, 2010, p.27-29. La Paz: Ministerio de Relaciones
Exteriores – Gaceta Oficial de Bolivia, 2010.
____. “Los Diez Mandamientos para salvar al planeta, a la humanidad y a la vida.” In:
BOLIVIA. Vivir Bien: Mensajes y documentos sobre el Vivir Bien 1995-2010. Serie
Diplomacia por la Vida, Vol. 3, 2010, p.18-24. La Paz: Ministerio de Relaciones
Exteriores – Gaceta Oficial de Bolivia, 2010a.
MUPPIDI, Himadeep. The Colonial Signs of International Relations. United Kingdom:
C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, 2012.
ONUF, Nicholas G. World of Our Making: Rules and Rule in Social Theory and International
Relations. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1989.
OVIEDO FREIRE, Attawalpa. M. Qué es el SUMAKAWSAY. Tercera Via: Vitalismo,
alternativa al capitalismo y el socialismo. La Paz: Garza Azul Editores, 2012.
PORTUGAL MOLLINEDO, Pedro. “Desarrollo, progreso y cosmovisión: mitos y verdades.”
Markapacha: Red Intercultural de Todos los Pueblos. Junio, 2013. Disponível em:
QUEREJAZU, Amaya. “Encountering the Pluriverse: Looking for Alternatives in Other
Worlds.” Rev. Bras. Polít. Int., 59(2), 2016, p. 1-16.
QUIJANO, Anibal. Colonialidade do poder, eurocentrismo e América Latina. In: Edgardo
Lander (org) A colonialidade do saber: eurocentrismo e ciências sociais. Prespectivas
latino-americanas. Argentina: CLASCO, 2005.
____. ““Bien vivir”: entre el “desarrollo” y la des/colonialidad del poder.” Viento Sur 122
(March 2012), p. 46-56.
QUISPE, Felipe. Interview [April, 2013]. Interviewer: Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado.
La Paz. 1 archive (60min).
REINAGA, Fausto. La Revolución India. El Alto: Imp. “Movil Graf”, 2011.
ROJAS, Cristina. “International Political Economy/Development Otherwise.” Globalizations,
December, Vol. 4 (4), 2007, p.573–587.
260 Suma Qamaña as a strategy of power: politicizing the Pluriverse
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
____. “The place of the social at the World Bank (1949–1981): Mingling race, nation,
and knowledge.” Global Social Policy, Vol. 15(1) 2015, p. 23-39.
____. “Contesting the Colonial Logics of the International: Toward a Relational Politics
for the Pluriverse.” International Political Sociology 10, 2016, p. 369–382.
SANTOS, Boaventura S. “Hablamos del Socialismo del Buen Vivir.” América Latina en
Movimiento 452, 2010, p. 4-7.
Servicio de Impuestos Nacionales. <http://www.impuestos.gob.bo/index.php?option=
SHAW, Karena. Indigeneity and Political Theory: Sovereignty and the Limits of the Political.
London: Routledge, 2008.
SHILLIAM, Robbie. International Relations and Non Western Thought: imperialism,
colonialism, and investigations of global modernity. London: Routledge, 2011.
SMITH, Karen. “Contrived boundaries, kinship and ubuntu: a (South) African view of the
‘international.” In Arlene Tickner and David Blaney (eds). Thinking the International
Differently. London: Routledge, 2012, p. 301-321.
SPEDDING, Alison. “‘Suma qamaña’ ¿kamsañ muni? (¿Qué quiere decir ‘vivir bien’?).”
Fé y Pueblo 17, 2010, p. 4-39.
SVAMPA, Maristela. ‘“Consenso de los Commodities” y lenguajes de valoración en
América Latin.” Nueva Sociedad 244, 2013, p.30-46.
STEFANONI, Pablo. “¿Y quién no querría vivir bien? Encrucijadas del proceso de cambio.”
Le Monde Diplomatique 200, 2012, p. 23-24.
SMITH, Steve; BOOTH, Ken; ZALEWISKI, Marysia (Eds). International Theory: positivism
and beyond. Cambridge: CUP, 1996.
TARROW, Sidney; MCADAM, Doug. “Scale Shift in Transnational Contention.” In: DELLA
PORTA, Donatella;TARROW, Sidney (Eds). Transnational Protest and Global Activism.
Oxford, UK: Rownan & Littlefield publishers, 2005, p. 121-147.
THOMPSON, Sinclair. Cuando sólo reinasen los indios. La Paz: La Mirada Salvaje, 2010.
TICKNER, Arlene B.; BLANEY, David. “Introduction: thinking difference.” In TICKNER,
Arlene B.; BLANEY, David (Eds). Thinking the International Differently. London:
Routledge, 2012, p. 1-21.
____. Claiming the International. New York: Routledge, 2013.
____. “Worlding, Ontological Politics and the Possibility of a Decolonial IR.” Millennium,
Journal of International Studies 00(0), 2017, p. 1-19.
TICKNER, J. A. Gendering World Politcs. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.
UNTOJA, Fernando. Retorno al Ayllu. Una Mirada Aymara a la Globalización. La Paz:
Ediciones Ayra, 2012.
____. Katarismo. Crítica al indianismo e indigenismo. La Paz: Impresión Creativa, 2012a
VÁSQUEZ, Walter. “Redistribución de La riqueza impulsa La economía.” La Razón,
261Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
Rev. Carta Inter., Belo Horizonte, v. 13, n. 3, 2018, p. 236-261
January 1, 2013. Disponível em: <http://www.la-razon.com/nacional/Redistribucion-
VIDAL, Hernán. “Retornando a cuestiones indispensables: neoestructuralismo, Estado,
cultura nacional.” In: MORAÑA, Mabel (Ed). Cultura y cambio social en América
Latina. Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2008, p. 269-280..
VILLANUEVA IMAÑA, Arturo. D. “¿Quo vadis socialismo comunitario para Vivir Bien?”
Nueva Crónica y Buen Gobierno 115, 2012, p. 10-11.
VIVEIROS DE CASTRO, Eduardo. “Os Pronomes Cosmológicos e o Perspectivismo
Ameríndio.” Mana 2(2), 1996, p. 115-144.
WALSH, Catherine. “Development as Buen Vivir: Institutional arrangements and (de)
colonial entanglements”. Development, 53 (1), 2010, p. 15-21.
WALSH, Catherine; GARCÍA LINERA, Álvaro; MIGNOLO, Walter. Interculturalidad,
descolonización del estado y del conocimiento. Argentina: Ediciones del Signo, 2006.
WALKER,, Rob. Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1993.
WEAVER, Ole. “The Sociology of a Not so International Discipline: American and
European-Developments in International Relations.” International Organization
52(4), 1998, p. 687-727.
WENDT, Alexander. Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press, 1999.
YAMPARA, Simón. El Ayllu y La Territorialidad en Los Andes. Una aproximación a
Chambi Grande. El Alto: Ediciones Qamán Pacha CADA, 2001.
____. “Comprensión aymara de la tierra-territorio en la cosmovisón andina y su
ordenamiento para la/el qamaña.” Revista Inti-Pacha 1-7, 2005, p. 13-44.
YOUATT, Rafi. “Personhood and the Rights of Nature: The New Subjects of Contemporary
Earth Politics.” International Political Sociology 11, 2017, p. 39–54.