Indigenous Peoples' Politics in Latin America

Posted: 14 Oct 2010  

Donna Lee Van Cott

University of Connecticut

Date Written: June 2010


Political science research on indigenous peoples' politics in Latin America is methodologically diverse and interdisciplinary. It has produced significant insights about citizenship, reform of the state, and the causes and consequences of the emergence and success of identity-based social movements and political parties. In order to expand and deepen our knowledge, future research should pursue three goals. First, scholars should explore a wider selection of cases, including countries where indigenous populations are small and where dramatic events have not occurred, in order to better explain more common types of indigenous political mobilization in the region. Second, they should better connect the study of indigenous politics to that of Afro-descendent movements and gender and, thus, expand our understanding of racial and gender politics. Third, they should be more critical of the democratic performance of indigenous organizations and politicians, especially when they hold public office.

Suggested Citation

Van Cott, Donna Lee, Indigenous Peoples' Politics in Latin America (June 2010). Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 13, pp. 385-405, 2010. Available at SSRN: or

Donna Lee Van Cott (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

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