Mobilizing Ethnic Identities in the Andes

Mobilizing Ethnic Identities in the Andes : A Study of Ecuador and Peru

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Mobilizing Ethnic Identity in the Andes examines why some groups choose to organize themselves based on ethnic identity, that is, why ethnic identities are mobilized and politicized by some populations and not others, using case studies from Ecuador and Peru. It demonstrates that the mobilization of ethnic identity is a political choice, and it is not necessarily the first or natural choice of a group of people who have grievances with their government.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 146 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 18mm | 240g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0739186280
  • 9780739186282

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Theorizing Ethnic Mobilization Chapter 2. Mobilization of Ethnic Identity in Highland Ecuador Chapter 3. Mobilization of Ethnic Identity in Highland Peru Chapter 4. Mobilization of Ethnic Identity in the Amazon Chapter 5. Conclusion
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Review quote

Up to this point, research on social movements and research on ethnic conflict have developed largely in isolation from each other. This seems strange since any ethnic identity necessarily requires social mobilization to become politically salient. While work on social movements has typically emphasized the importance of structural factors underpinning the opportunities for mobilization, the ethnic conflict research tends to emphasize the strategic manipulation of identities and mobilization by political elites. This book does an excellent (and long overdue) job of integrating the two approaches, and it does so while raising a compelling empirical puzzle: Why, despite similarly sized indigenous populations, does the level of ethnic mobilization vary so considerably across Peru and Ecuador? Glidden's compelling answers suggest that we need to pay attention both to the underlying factors that externally shape the prospects for indigenous mobilization and the internal, shorter-term strategic calculations that shape the framing of movements. -- Erik Wibbels, Duke University Lisa Glidden shows that an indigenous ethnic identity, rather than being essential and constant, is constructed politically, and dependent upon the approval and support of outside audiences. The success of movements in the Andes then, flourish when they get the support of powerful certifiers-often far from South America. Her important study will be useful to anyone seeking to make sense of ethnicity and nationalist movements. -- David S. Meyer, University of California, Irvine Glidden (SUNY, Oswego) analyzes the dynamics of ethnic identity mobilization in Ecuador and Peru in the 20th century via a mix of archival and secondary research framed by some elite interviewing. Glidden asserts that four major factors influence the likelihood of ethnic mobilization: identity formation, attribution of opportunity and threat, certification by external actors, and the politicization of identity via brokers. The book examines ethnic mobilization in highland Ecuador, highland Peru, and the Amazonian regions of both countries. Glidden contends that mobilization in Ecuador eventually exceeded that found in Peru because indigenous peoples in Peru were more likely to embrace class-oriented identities and that the brokers interested in ethnic mobilization in Ecuador were more numerous and more credible. Glidden provides a clearly written historical narrative. The incorporation of more individuals' experiences into this narrative would make this book's claims come to life more vividly and more effectively. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections. * CHOICE * This is a...stimulating appraisal of the relative success of political entrepreneurs in mobilising ethnically based social movements in Ecuador and Peru in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Glidden builds on the ideas of the California sociologist Doug McAdam to model the factors involved in framing, certifying and nurturing these movements....Glidden is promoting a very promising and intriguing research agenda for the Andes. There has been some research on [the] topic but not enough. She also raises important questions about the role of identity politics in the future, based in part on concerns about the continued legitimacy of ethnic leaders. Hopefully more authors will take up this research agenda in the Andes and elsewhere. * Bulletin of Latin American Research *
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About Lisa M. Glidden

Lisa M. Glidden is assistant professor of political science at the College at Oswego, SUNY.
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