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‘We were forgotten’: explaining ethnic voting in Bolivia’s highlands and lowlands


Hirseland, Aline-Sophia; Strijbis, Oliver (2019). ‘We were forgotten’: explaining ethnic voting in Bolivia’s highlands and lowlands. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(11):2006-2025.

Abstract

With the election of Evo Morales and his party Movement to Socialism (MAS) in 2005, Bolivia has become the only country in Latin America to have an indigenous party in power. However, it is misleading to take the MAS government as representing all of Bolivia’s ethnic diversity. Its indigenous population can be classified into peoples from the Andean highlands and from the Amazonian lowlands. Research has treated the indigenous population as uniform or focused on the Andean peoples and on parties rather than voters. This paper aims to differentiate this picture by showing that variances between highland and lowland indigenous peoples started with the appearance of Homeland’s Consciousness (CONDEPA) and have increased since MAS came to power. While the highland indigenous peoples have preferred left political parties, parties with pro-indigenous agendas or which used indigenous symbolism, the lowland peoples have tended to support centre-right parties. The paper attempts to explain these differences in the voting behaviour of Bolivia’s indigenous peoples. Ethnic voting is analysed in the time span from 1985 until 2014 within a mixed-methods design.

Abstract

With the election of Evo Morales and his party Movement to Socialism (MAS) in 2005, Bolivia has become the only country in Latin America to have an indigenous party in power. However, it is misleading to take the MAS government as representing all of Bolivia’s ethnic diversity. Its indigenous population can be classified into peoples from the Andean highlands and from the Amazonian lowlands. Research has treated the indigenous population as uniform or focused on the Andean peoples and on parties rather than voters. This paper aims to differentiate this picture by showing that variances between highland and lowland indigenous peoples started with the appearance of Homeland’s Consciousness (CONDEPA) and have increased since MAS came to power. While the highland indigenous peoples have preferred left political parties, parties with pro-indigenous agendas or which used indigenous symbolism, the lowland peoples have tended to support centre-right parties. The paper attempts to explain these differences in the voting behaviour of Bolivia’s indigenous peoples. Ethnic voting is analysed in the time span from 1985 until 2014 within a mixed-methods design.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:arts and humanities (miscellaneous), demography, ethnic voting, indigenous peoples, party voter linkages, Bolivia
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:07 Aug 2019 12:41
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:41
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1369-183X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183x.2018.1492371

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