Brighton University, UK
Universidad de Southampton, UK
Dominant paradigms of wellbeing continue to struggle to make sense of what this term means. Equally, policy makers struggle to make dominant visions of wellbeing a reality. This paper examines the understanding of wellbeing recently adopted by the Bolivian constitution. High relevance is given to indigenous understandings of ‘vivir bien’, a concept that could be translated as ‘living well together’ under principles of conviviality and promoting values of reciprocity. Having been adopted by Bolivians in their 2009 Constitution as one of the country’s fundamental values, the paper explores the contribution it can make to understandings of wellbeing. It argues that ‘vivir bien’ constitutes progress in our understandings of wellbeing because of the emphasis the concept makes on harmonious relations, not only in society but also with nature (the Pachamama –our Mother Earth), providing a link to sustainability that current conceptions of wellbeing often fail to make. }
Keywords: Vivir bien, wellbeing, Constitution, Bolivia, Ecuador, indigenous development.