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Abstract

This discussion paper looks at the Bolivian decentralization model. The objective of Bolivian decentralization is to consolidate the process of popular participation, and to promote regional economic development by means of a more equitable distribution of national income and improved administration of public resources. The legal framework of Bolivian decentralization is established by two principled laws; firstly, the LPP, defines decentralization on the municipal level and represents a new dimension of governmental reform, creating an important link between the state and civil society. Second, the Law of Administrative decentralization (LAD-adm) organizes the structure of the executive power in each Department so as to underpin administrative decentralization. Overall the decentralization process in Bolivia can be seen as an important step towards restructuring the old centralized state into a more democratic one. However, as the social uprising and protests which took place in October 2003 show, the decentralization laws alone didn't solve the economic and social problems in Bolivia.

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