Property rights, nationalisation and extractive industries in Bolivia and Ecuador

Murat Arsel, Carlos Mena, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Isabella Radhuber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Since the election of the left-leaning leaders Morales in Bolivia and Correa in Ecuador, there have been highly contested changes regarding the role of the state in the extractive industries of these countries. While the content of these changes differ and have manifested themselves over different timescales and political approaches, they fall within the context of the politically charged and equivocal rubric of ʼnationalisation’. In both countries the place of extractive industries in socioeconomic development has been acknowledged as central to understanding the nature of the ongoing changes. While the existing literature has made sweeping generalisations about the character of these new regimes, this chapter aims to bring an empirically grounded analysis of the transformation of property rights structures associated with nationalisation in the extractive sectors of Bolivia and Ecuador. Focusing primarily on the minerals sector, the chapter demonstrates that there have been shifts and swings in the property rights regimes of both countries at the ‘operational level’. While these changes have indeed strengthened the role of the state, hence conforming to our definition of nationalisation, the most significant changes relate to changes in property rights at the level of ‘collective-choice’ rights that concern the future shape of development in these two countries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConflicts over Natural Resources in the Global South
Subtitle of host publicationConceptual Approaches
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781315778464
ISBN (Print)9781138020405
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Bolivia
  • Ecuador
  • Extractive industries
  • Nationalisation
  • Property rights


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