Citizen Responses to Conflict and Political Crisis in Peru

Susan Eva Eckstein and Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley

in What Justice? Whose Justice?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780520237445
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936980 | DOI:
Citizen Responses to Conflict and Political Crisis in Peru

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Most inquiries concerning democracy phenomenon in Latin America stay preoccupied with explaining the tendency, mostly in context of the new or the “Third Wave” democracies to appeal directly to their citizenries. In the process, these inquiries majorly lose out on the nature or dynamics of citizen initiative or response. This chapter aims at sorting out this imbalance by exploring politics at the base of society, rather than at its center, by examining the case of Peru. It reviews the political dynamics of local-level governance in Peru, understood as policy implementation and interaction with civil society, in the south-central highland departamento Ayacucho. Appraising the analytical distinction between government policy initiatives and the activities of the civil society, the chapter reflects on the difficulty concerning distinction between “government-down” and “citizen-up” activities. It employs the hypothesis that local populations resort to self-help when the government is unable or unwilling to act.

Keywords: third wave; citizenries; Ayacucho; citizen initiative; politcal dynamics; policy implementation

Chapter.  8699 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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