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The paths of the indigenous identity in Bolivian politics: a closer approach on ethnicity in Bolivian party politics after 1985

Grant number: 13/15044-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): September 04, 2013
Effective date (End): December 03, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science
Principal Investigator:Rossana Rocha Reis
Grantee:Aiko Ikemura Amaral
Supervisor: Pablo Regalsky
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS), Bolivia  
Associated to the scholarship:13/01220-4 - The paths of the politicization of indigeneity: a study on indigenous identity in Bolivian politics after 1985, BP.MS


The following project is part of an ongoing Master's research on the politicization of the Indigenous identity and on ethnic politics in present-day Bolivia. The Master's project is focused on understanding the recent phenomenon of the increasing relevance of ethnic identities in Bolivian democracy, the meaning of "Indigenous" for Bolivian political institutions, specially for the so-called "ethnic parties" or "political instruments" and indigenous social movements, as well as the impact of such on Bolivia's political system. With the aid of constructivist approach of the International Relations, social movements theory and Honneth's recognition theory, we intend to seize the processes of mutual construction of the Indigenous identity and of the present political system, emphasizing its intersubjective character, the changes in power relations and the context in which these shifts took place in the political discourse and practice. We intend to understand new frames are produced and introduced in the political arena, and how do they shape actors' actions and discourses, but are also subject to intense transformations in the process. We will seek for the relations that led political parties and social movements to engage in a struggle for recognition that targets the widening of (or even changing) the prevailing frame. The main material goal to be achieved is putting up an extensive data set consisting of interviews, documents, books, and media releases. Not only the fieldwork is expected to enhance the quality of the proposed Master's research by increasing the available material for such, it will furnish the analysis with deeper knowledge of the researched topic, and Bolivian society as whole. Therefore, we hope to build, based on a methodological triangulation, a sound basis for the study of the increasing juxtaposition of the Indigenous identity and institutionalized politics, as ethnicity gains the floor on a struggle for recognition in Bolivia. (AU)

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