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The New Politics of Inequality in Latin AmericaRethinking Participation and Representation$
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Douglas A. Chalmers, Carlos M. Vilas, Katherine Hite, Scott B. Martin, Kerianne Piester, and Monique Segarra

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198781837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198781830.001.0001

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

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

(p.170) 7 The Politics of Identity Reconstruction: Indians and Democracy in Ecuador1
The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America

Melina Selverston

Oxford University Press

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

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