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Ethnic Politics and Development: A Comparative Analysis of Indigenous Movements in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile (INDIMOVE)

From January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014

Over recent decades Latin America has witnessed a dramatic sea change. Indigenous people became a formidable political force, something unthinkable even a generation ago. These movements demand equal rights to overcome longstanding inequalities, and push for special rights that recognize ethnic and cultural differences and secure political and territorial autonomy.

What is the significance of indigenous mobilization for democratic citizenship? What are the consequences of indigenous movements for inequality and poverty? Currently, we lack systematic answers to those questions.  Remarkably little attention has been paid to how these new politics of identity are connected to developmental outcomes.

This project aims to fill in these knowledge gaps. To do so, it draws on comparative case studies of indigenous activism around land rights in Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. The research has three major objectives: First, it develops an innovative framework that integrates the analysis of causes and consequences of indigenous movements. Second, it investigates how and why the strategies and intensity of indigenous movements varies. Third, it explores how distinct forms of indigenous mobilization transform the implementation of citizenship and alter dominant conceptions of poverty and inequality. Using a qualitative methodology that combines protest event-analysis from local newspapers and semi-structured interviews with indigenous activists, non-activists, state officials, and economic elites, the project seeks to offer original and systematic answers to variations in indigenous politics across Latin America.

External Contributors