The Politics of Identity Reconstruction: Indians and Democracy in Ecuador <sup>1</sup>

Melina Selverston

in The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780198781837
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598968 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 The Politics of Identity Reconstruction: Indians and Democracy in Ecuador  1

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The indigenous movement in Ecuador has emerged in recent years as one of the most important social movements in the country. By organizing to protest the withdrawal of social and material rights under the neo‐liberal economic model and their continuing political exclusion within a democracy, Ecuador's traditionally fragmented indigenous groups have created a powerful new political identity. This analysis focuses on two cases in which the indigenous confederation CONAIE successfully influenced the government's proposed reforms over land use and bilingual education in the mid 1990s. Identity politics proved to be an effective way for indigenous actors to challenge the neo‐liberal politics that threatened to undermine their social and political rights. In the process, indigenous mobilization focused national attention on the lack of political participation by popular sectors in the political system.

Keywords: CONAIE; democracy; Ecuador; indigenous politics; liberalism; neo; participation; social movements

Chapter.  9902 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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