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Struggles of Voice

Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes

José Antonio Lucero
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    Struggles of Voice
    Book Description:

    Over the last two decades, indigenous populations in Latin America have achieved a remarkable level of visibility and political effectiveness, particularly in Ecuador and Bolivia. InStruggles of Voice,José Antonio Lucero examines these two outstanding examples in order to understand their different patterns of indigenous mobilization and to reformulate the theoretical model by which we link political representation to social change.Building on extensive fieldwork, Lucero considers Ecuador's united indigenous movement and compares it to the more fragmented situation in Bolivia. He analyzes the mechanisms at work in political and social structures to explain the different outcomes in each case. Lucero assesses the intricacies of the many indigenous organizations and the influence of various NGOs to uncover how the conflicts within social movements, the shifting nature of indigenous identities, and the politics of transnationalism all contribute to the success or failure of political mobilization.Blending philosophical inquiry with empirical analysis,Struggles of Voiceis an informed and incisive comparative history of indigenous movements in these two Andean countries. It helps to redefine our understanding of the complex intersections of social movements and political representation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7345-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Chapter 1 Constructing Movements and Comparisons
    (pp. 1-26)

    Indigenous peoples in Latin America dispatched the twentieth century as they did the eighteenth, with a wave of social mobilizations that frightened elites and dramatically altered the political possibilities for a democratizing and modernizing continent. In the 1780s, the Aymara, Quechua, and mestizo armies of Túpaj Katari and Túpac Amaru initiated what some have called the “first war of independence” in Spanish America (Albó 1987),¹ only to see it crushed by colonial power and later eclipsed by the more conservative “white-” or Creole-led movements of Bolívar, Sucre, and San Martín.

    Two hundred years later, indigenous people launched new offensives, not...

  2. Chapter 2 Toward a Political and Conceptual Genealogy of Representation
    (pp. 27-48)

    In order to understand the dynamics of representing indigenous people in Latin America, it is useful to begin with the concept of political representation itself. Even the speediest survey of the existing political scientific literature on elections, parties, and social movements would suggest that all these topics fit, more or less comfortably, under the rubric of political representation.¹ Immediately, some may object that there is a difference between the kind of representational work done by organizations in civil society and the kind done by parties in political society. Thus, the objection might run, we should distinguish social representation of unions...

  3. Chapter 3 Comparing Communities, Contention, and Representation, 1860s–1960s
    (pp. 49-76)

    Modern democratic theory assigns representation the specific task of connecting the people to the state. The uneven political landscapes of actually existing democracies, however, require systems of representation to connect various kinds of political subjects with various kinds of political communities. This is particularly true in the context of Andean political histories in which the transitions from colonial to republican political systems were far from clean breaks. For much of the republican period in Latin America, indigenous people remained neocolonial subjects without citizenship rights. Yet they were never beyond either the cultural or political reach of representation. Rather, they were...

  4. Chapter 4 Articulating Indianness Regionally and Nationally, 1960s–1990s
    (pp. 77-120)

    The agrarian reforms of the mid-twentieth century ended the dominance of haciendas in the countryside and provided the state with new mechanisms for the political incorporation of rural peoples, not as Indians but ascampesinos. During the 1960s, the models of rural unions and the language of rural development created a new context for the state-society struggles in the Andes and set the stage for independent indigenous organizing. A key policy of agrarian reform, dubbed un-ironically “colonization,” sent many highland peoples into what elites considered the empty lands of the Amazon, an opinion not shared by the many lowland indigenous...

  5. Chapter 5 Neoliberal and Multicultural Encounters, 1990–2005
    (pp. 121-152)

    The achievements of indigenous movements in the 1990s and beyond rest on the “contradictory, stony ground” of the 1980s, to borrow a phrase from Stuart Hall (1989, 151). In terms of most major macroeconomic indicators, Latin America found itself in the midst of the worst period since the Great Depression, prompting economists to refer to this period as the “lost decade” and setting the stage for aggressive neoliberal economic reforms. Yet this decade of crisis and structural adjustment was also the decade that saw the consolidation of major indigenous organizations throughout the continent. The overlap of decades won and lost...

  6. Chapter 6 Strategic Constructivism and Essentialism
    (pp. 153-174)

    In a reunion of sorts on June 1, 2004, Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutiérrez officially welcomed Antonio Vargas to his cabinet as the new minister of social welfare. Vargas, an indigenous Kichwa leader from the Amazon, had been the president of CONAIE, and for a few dramatic hours on January 21, 2000, joined Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez and others in a rebellion (or coup, or revolution, depending on one’s perspective) that spilled no blood but removed President Jamil Mahuad from office.¹ While the Junta of National Salvation that followed lasted only a few hours, the events of January 21 changed the lives...

  7. Chapter 7 Articulating Utopias, Histories, and Politics
    (pp. 175-192)

    The contemporaneity of (pre-Columbian) ayllus and (post modern) Evangelical indigenous movements serve to remind us that Andean (and Latin American) notions of time are notoriously tricky (Stern 1999). Conceptions of history in both Quechua (the past,ñawpa pacha, literally “time ahead”) and Aymara (quip nayr uñtasis sartañani, “to walk ahead while looking back”) put the past squarely in front of us (Hylton and Thomson 2007, 149). At this study’s end, then, it is appropriate to (re)consider its beginnings.

    It is perhaps surprising to note that the fieldwork¹ for a book about the Andes began in the (increasingly Andeanized) city of...