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Tuesday, 30th August 2011

Buen Vivir: A brief introduction to Latin America’s new concepts for the good life and the rights of nature

Source: Heinrich Boll Foundation

From the Preface:

Latin America in the year 2011: working in the shadow of the giant Brazil, leftist governments in Ecuador and Bolivia have drawn up new constitutions. Buen Vivir – the right to a good life and the rights of nature – has been enshrined in those documents. Buen Vivir is based on indigenous traditions and values of the Andean region and sees itself as a new development concept that departs from Western paradigms of affluence. In the following essay, Thomas Fatheuer describes the political genesis of a complex concept: Buen Vivir – and a “concept under construction”.

He points out that achieving constitutional status is no means a guarantee for the implementation of Buen Vivir – harmony with nature or the culture of life. While there is no timetable for it, it has been the subject of lively debate in Latin America that has remained virtually unnoticed in Europe.

With this publication, we would like to introduce the Buen Vivir concept and get to know it better, and thus provide a further aspect with which to enrich our own debate about growth.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 1.5 MB)


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

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