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Utopian disjunctures: popular democracy and the communal state in urban Venezuela

Wilde, Matt (2017) Utopian disjunctures: popular democracy and the communal state in urban Venezuela. Critique of Anthropology, 37 (1). pp. 47-66. ISSN 0308-275X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0308275X16671787


This article examines the Venezuelan government’s efforts to establish a “communal state” through the eyes of working-class chavista activists in the city of Valencia. It argues that the attempt to incorporate grassroots community organisations into a state-managed model of popular democracy produces a series of “utopian disjunctures” for the actors involved. These disjunctures, the article contends, stem from conflicting political temporalities within the chavista project, as long-term aspirations of radical democracy clash with more short-term demands to obtain state resources and consolidate the government’s power. The case highlights the tensions generated by efforts to reconcile radical democratic experiments with left-nationalist electoral politics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 08:18
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:32
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS)

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