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Andrés Felipe Otálvaro

Research Project

The “Bolivarian missions” in Venezuela: an innovative social policy amidst a historical process of transformation?
The concept of the “Bolivarian missions” (misiones bolivarianas) exists since the creation of the social programs of 2003, which have been developed until today by the support of the Bolivarian Government, professionals from Cuba and the active participation of the organized communities (comunidades organizadas) within an innovative and heterogeneous social policy in Venezuela. Nowadays there are 35 missions that concentrate on different social issues. According to the Bolivarian Constitution from 1999 a universal character is attributed to this social policy; the focus of these missions is actually the Venezuelan society of exclusion.
The aim of my investigation is to tell a story of these missions. The voices of the ordinary people, the members (misionarios and misionarias) of the organized communities that participate actively in this social program are the basis for my examination. Two disciplines offer fundamental tools and ideas in this direction: the micro-history and the historical anthropology. Besides this arises the central question of my investigation: How is a story of the Bolivarian Missions supposed to be constructed on the every day experiences and reports of the people that live these days in the Venezuelan heterodox revolution? The field research plays a fundamental role in my Ph.D., both in the different cities of Venezuela as well as in the countryside.


  • „Desarrollismo y Democracia Liberal de cara a las Misiones bolivarianas: sociedades formales e informales en la política social venezolana” (Veröffentlichung Ende 2014), in: Venezuela despue?s de Cha?vez: balance de la Revolucio?n Bolivariana y aproximacio?n a sus perspectivas de desenvolvimiento. Editorial Universidad del Rosario. Bogotá.

  • „Misiones Bolivarianas, transformaciones sociales y limitantes estructurales en la Venezuela del siglo XXI” (2013). Zeitschrift „Estado & Comunes: Revista de política y problemas públicos.”: Quito-Ecuador

  • „Una nueva estrategia de política social en América Latina: el caso de las Misiones Bolivarianas en Venezuela”, in: Análisis Político No. 66. Bogotá: Universidad Nacional, 2009.   

  • „Bolivarianische Missionen: ein erfolgreicher Raum der Demokratisierung in Venezuela“, in: Venezuela heute. Binationale Perspektiven (span. Titel: Venezuela hoy. Miradas Binacionales), Bogotá, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Relaciones Internacionales, IEPRI, Universidad del Rosario, 2008. ISBN: 9587019872.

  • Grenzenlose Nachbarschaft: Venezuela und Kolumbien (span. Titel: Vecindad sin Límites: Venezuela y Colombia), Hg. mit Francesca Ramos Písmataro, Bogotá, Editorial Universidad del Rosario, 2008. ISBN 978-958-8378-36-7.

  • “Tras las huellas del sistema político venezolano: doscientos años de historia vertidos en una nueva revolución”, in: Desafíos (2005), Nr. 12, Bogotá, Universidad del Rosario, S. 145-205. ISSN: 0124-4035.