Elias Aceves

FLAS Fellow
Soares Fellow
2023 - 2024
Headshot of Elias Aceves

Class of 2024

Advisor: Mikael Wolfe

Elias (He/Him) intends to focus on indigenous sovereignty in the United States and the lessons which can be gleaned from the plurinationalism movement in Bolivia and the corresponding governance models which have been implemented via the novel 2009 Plurinational Constitution. He particularly has interests in Federal Indian Law and public law in the US, and how the majority-minority institutions in Bolivia provide legal alternatives to minority protections which go beyond the rights and federal oversight that define the US legal canon, with instead the endowment of minority power and self-governance,

With experience and knowledge in California’s social movements, he intends to translate lessons from Bolivia’s popular movements composed of peasants, indigenous peoples, miners, urban workers, and tenants to the context of California’s economy and demographics. He identifies the struggle for a state constituent assembly propelled by the increasingly militant social organizations across California to be the primary tactic for how a popular agenda can be victorious and can serve as a model for other US states he is not familiar with, but believes others can best translate. He also has a lot of respect for the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and seeks to build off much of the work it has done over the decades.

A son of working-class Mexican immigrants, he is committed to reconceptualizing how citizenship and sovereignty functions in our globalized world, and has great admiration for the ideas which originate not merely from Bolivia, but all across Latin America. He is excited to learn Quechua via the FLAS Fellowship to learn more about plurinational indigenous thought and to have the opportunity to return to Bolivia. 

In his free time, he loves planning his next tattoos, gardening with his boyfriend, talking with friends outside with slightly caffeinated drinks, and taking naps on bean bags. He also loves to write about his home of the Inland Empire (Menifee, CA) and his various travels across the United States via the greyhound bus, along with across Latin America. He can be reached at eace01 [at] stanford.edu (eace01[at]stanford[dot]edu) for any questions or thoughts about his research—or to just chat. Please reach out!