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Bolivia’s outstanding political theorist René Zavaleta Mercado (1937–84) passed through different intellectual stages, and one of his key theoretical concerns was to understand how knowledge reflected local historical processes and struggles. From the late 1950s to mid-1960s, revolutionary nationalism provided his ideological orientation, and he served as a diplomat (1958–62), congressman (1962–63), and minister of mines and petroleum (1964) for the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (mnr). In the late 1960s to early 1970s, he entered a more orthodox Marxist phase, in which he stressed the historical centrality of the working class in popular struggle. After the coup of General...

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