Consent, coercion and cooperativismo: Mining cooperatives and resource regimes in Bolivia

Andrea Marston, Tom Perreault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This paper examines ways in which regional political, economic, and cultural hegemonies maintain “resource regimes” by exploring the emergence of mining cooperatives as central actors in Bolivia’s extractive economy. Like much of Latin America, Bolivia is experiencing a boom in resource extraction. Unlike other Latin American countries, in which the surge in mining activity is driven almost entirely by private, mostly transnational capital, relatively small-scale mining cooperatives play a major role in Bolivia’s mining economy. We draw on the Gramscian concepts of hegemony and the integral state to explore the historical and contemporary relationship between mining cooperatives and unfolding patterns of mineral, water, and territorial governance, particularly in Oruro and Potosí departments. We argue that the regional hegemony of the mining economy has been constructed and maintained by the close historical relationship between mining cooperatives and the Bolivian state. Since the 1930s, the state has supported the formation of mining cooperatives as a means of bolstering the mining economy and stemming political unrest; in recent decades, however, cooperatives have become more actively involved in the maintenance of mining’s regional hegemony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-272
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Bolivia
  • Gramsci
  • Mining cooperatives
  • hegemony
  • resource governance
  • resource regime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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