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Reading: Political economy of state-indigenous liaisons: Ecuador in times of Alianza PAIS

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Political economy of state-indigenous liaisons: Ecuador in times of Alianza PAIS

Authors:

Rickard Lalander ,

Södertörn University, SE
About Rickard
Rickard Lalander is sociologist and political scientist; Professor in Global Development studies/Environmental science at Södertörn University, Stockholm; Ph.D and Associate Professor in Latin American studies, Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki. He has taught Latin American studies and political and economic studies at the University of Helsinki and sociology at Mid Sweden University. He also collaborates since many years with academic institutions in South America, such as the Universidad Mayor de San Simón/UMSS, Cochabamba and the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito.
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Magnus Lembke,

Stockholm University, SE
About Magnus
Magnus Lembke holds a PhD in political science, Stockholm University and has worked for two decades at the Institute of Latin American studies, Stockholm University. His doctoral thesis analyzed ethnically defined politics and the struggle for social justice among peasant-indigenous movements in Ecuador and Guatemala. His areas of research specialization are social movements, indigenous peoples, territorial studies, and deliberative democracy.
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Pablo Ospina Peralta

Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, EC
About Pablo
Pablo Ospina is historian and anthropologist; PhD. in history, CEDLA (Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation), University of Amsterdam. He has written extensively on Ecuadorian politics, history and the struggle of the indigenous movement and other social movements. Currently he is chairing the research commission at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, Ecuador.
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Abstract

This article analyses the contentious liaisons between the indigenous movement and the state in Ecuador during the government of Alianza PAIS under the presidency of Rafael Correa (2007-2017). The research question examines to which measure, how and why the shift from neoliberal to leftist administrations could have affected the principal strategic repertoire of the indigenous movement. Leaning on a political economy approach and social movement theorizing, and accentuating the relative power balance between the indigenous movement and the state, it focuses on indigenous oppositional strategies and the ambivalent attitude of the state regarding participatory democracy and the rights of the indigenous peoples. By contrasting this period with the neoliberal 1990s – considered the heyday of the indigenous struggle – we examine contemporary strategic responses of the movement amidst the new political setting characterized by hyper-presidentialism and a systematic effort to de-corporatize the state. A central finding is that, while retaining its powerful organizational network which could be reactivated during critical situations, the indigenous movement weakened in relation to the 1990s. This relative decline is manifested in three types of social movement relationships: between leaders and grassroots (mobilizing capacity); between the movement and its alliance partners (alliance politics); and between the movement and the legal institutional terrain of the state (institutional participation). 

Resumen: Economía política de las relaciones Estado-indígenas: Ecuador en tiempo de Alianza PAIS

Este artículo analiza las relaciones conflictivas entre el movimiento indígena y el Estado en Ecuador durante el gobierno de Alianza PAIS cuando ejercía la presidencia Rafael Correa, (2007-2017). La pregunta de investigación es la medida en la cual, cómo y por qué el desplazamiento desde el neoliberalismo hacia la izquierda pudo afectar los principales repertorios de estrategias del movimiento indígena. Desde un enfoque de economía política y de las teorías de los movimientos sociales y considerando los cambios en el balance de poder entre el movimiento indígena y el Estado, el artículo se enfoca en las estrategias de oposición de los indígenas y en la actitud ambivalente del Estado respecto a la democracia participativa y a los derechos de los pueblos indígenas. En contraste con los años neoliberales (1990s) que fueron considerados los de mayor influencia de la lucha indígena, examinamos las estrategias contemporáneas del movimiento en medio de las nuevas circunstancias políticas caracterizadas por el hiper-presidencialismo y un sistemático esfuerzo de descorporativización del Estado. Un hallazgo central del trabajo es que, aunque conserva la potencia de su poderosa red organizativa, que le permite reactivarse en coyunturas críticas, el movimiento indígena se debilitó en comparación con los años 1990. Este declive relativo se manifiesta en tres campos: la relación entre los líderes y las bases (capacidad de movilización); la relación entre el movimiento y sus aliados (la política de alianzas); y la relación entre el movimiento y el terreno institucional del Estado (participación institucional). 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10541
How to Cite: Lalander, R., Lembke, M., & Ospina Peralta, P. (2019). Political economy of state-indigenous liaisons: Ecuador in times of Alianza PAIS. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (108), 193–220. DOI: http://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10541
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Published on 18 Dec 2019.
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