In this thesis I assessed the state responses to social movements and in turn the impact of these movements on state policy within the context of the democratization occurring in Bolivia. The democratization process is affected by the conflict between political and economic goals. Politically the governments are faced with the demands from social groups. At the same time, the Bolivian government faces an economic crisis which requires stabilization, impairing the same individuals needed for legitimacy and political support.
Two cases which depicted the key issues of this thesis are: the indigenous groups in the Bolivian Beni region and the coca growers, mainly of the Chapare area in the Cochabamba department of Bolivia. To achieve support and legitimacy, the new civilian administrations had no choice but to listen to the requests of the social mobilizations. Because of the economic crisis, conflicting domestic pressures and international influence, however, the government could not accede to all their demands.