Accession Number:

ADA520261

Title:

Harvesting the Past: The Social Mobilization of Bolivia's Indigenous Peoples. Strategic Insights v4 n5 May 2005

Descriptive Note:

Journal

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

10.0

Abstract:

Along with the rise of identity politics, ethnic, and indigenous groups have increasingly organized under their own banner, in the process limiting the states realm of maneuver. Is this an inevitable process, reflecting essential, stable identities Is the ascendancy of indigenous groups in countries such as Bolivia inevitable If so, why now and not sooner The rise of indigenous groups was not just a matter of elites relaxing control or forming alliances with lower classes. This occurred on previous occasions. Further, it was not just a question of organization and leadership. Indigenous groups have been organized and led by their own since well before the arrival of the Spanish. Sufficient resources had to be available, a certain level of organization had to be achieved, and indigenous leaders had to understand the dynamics of their environment in order to realize and act upon real and potential political opportunities. This article argues that the ascendancy of Bolivias indigenous groups during the last decades of the twentieth century was the result of the their transformation into networked social movements. This transformation provided indigenous groups with the resources and tools necessary to increase their ability to organize, coordinate, and communicate domestically and internationally in such a way that generated leverage which could be used against the state and its international supporters. Examining the rise of indigenous groups through political economy and social movement methodologies explains this phenomena, and sheds light on the relationship between structure and agency.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE