Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno


Indigenous, Political, Representation, Andes, Ecuador, Bolivia, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa


For years, there has been a lack of representation for indigenous peoples in communities, and most importantly in parliament. This is a very common trait in the South American Andes, which houses the largest number of indigenous groups in the continent. This thesis focuses on Ecuador and Bolivia due to their indigenous population and their history, or lack thereof, with indigenous people in parliament. For my hypothesis, I argue that parliamentary representation of indigenous peoples, can help ensure that their rights are protected, and their unique interests are heard and translated into relevant policies, while at the same time preventing conflict. I also argue that underrepresentation is likely due to a combination of actual barriers to participation and an overall sense of alienation from mainstream electoral processes. While Bolivian democracy was more stable and inclusive under the Morales government than under previous ones, this study finds that the influence of other government officials and economic needs played a part in changes for the rights of the indigenous. The study shows that Bolivian politics revolved around the increase, and then decrease, in indigenous rights under their first indigenous president, Evo Morales. In this thesis, I also follow Ecuadorian politics involving indigenous groups. Lastly, the thesis examines a comparison between the two states and how they relate historically and politically to each other



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