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Indigenous Rights and Neoliberalism in Latin America

Abstract

Neoliberalism in Latin America has resulted in social, political, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges for indigenous peoples in the region. In response, indigenous communities and movements have contested neoliberal projects as they simultaneously seek collective rights for recognition as peoples, redistribution of resources, and recovery of ancestral territories. This chapter traces the emergence of neoliberalism in Latin America and demonstrates how it has contributed to the social suffering of indigenous peoples. Emphasis also is placed on how indigenous peoples in the region have mobilized against neoliberalism. Latin American governments have reshaped the politics of recognition in relation to indigenous peoples by embracing “neoliberal multiculturalism,” a form of recognition that does not jeopardize the economic and political priorities of the state and elites. Questions about whether the region has entered into a “post-multicultural” or “post-neoliberal” moment are considered in relation to indigenous rights claims. Furthermore, the chapter describes the potential of the “decolonial turn” and other recent trends for challenging hegemonic ontological and epistemological assumptions and pointing toward alternative modernities that center on indigenous worldviews.

Keywords

  • Indigenous
  • Neoliberalism
  • Latin America
  • Multiculturalism
  • Rights
  • Post-neoliberal
  • Post-multicultural

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Correspondence to Patricia Richards .

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Gardner, J.A., Richards, P. (2019). Indigenous Rights and Neoliberalism in Latin America. In: Ratuva, S. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Ethnicity. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2898-5_70

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