Opposition or Cooperation? - A Minor Field Study of the Ecuadorian Indigenous Movement´s Relation to the State

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: Ecuador is one of the countries in Latin America where an indigenous movement has a significant influence on politics. This qualitative study examines the indigenous movement in Ecuador and how it relates to the state, in an analysis departing from theories on social movements. This thesis, emphasizing the indigenous perspective, is based on empirical material collected in a minor field study in Ecuador. The focus is on the regional indigenous organization ECUARUNARI´s agenda, strategies and position towards the actual government. The aim is to contribute to a deeper understanding of how the Ecuadorian indigenous peoples mobilize and relate to the state. The conditions of struggle for the indigenous movement changed as a leftist president, Rafael Correa, assumed office in 2007. Opposite to expectations of co-operation, tensions rapidly arose. The outlined main reasons are differing political projects and visions of the state and political participation. We argue that another aspect of the disagreement is the indigenous movement´s difficulty in adapting to the actual political context. With a collective identity partly based on an anti-system discourse, protest actions and independency, the leadership of the movement continues in the same direction, despite tendencies among the grass roots to support the new government. Words: 9988

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