Radical Democracy in the Andes (Paperback)
  • Radical Democracy in the Andes (Paperback)
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Radical Democracy in the Andes (Paperback)

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£21.99
Paperback 278 Pages / Published: 08/09/2008
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After a decade in local office, are indigenous peoples' governments in the Andes fulfilling their promise to provide a more participatory, accountable, and deliberative form of democracy? Using current debates in democratic theory as a framework, Donna Lee Van Cott examines 10 examples of institutional innovation by indigenous party-controlled municipalities in Bolivia and Ecuador. In contrast to studies emphasizing the role of individuals and civil society, the findings underscore the contributions of leadership and political parties to promoting participation and deliberation - even at the local level. Democratic quality is more likely to improve where local actors initiate and design institutions. Van Cott concludes that indigenous parties' innovations have improved democratic quality in some respects, but that authoritarian tendencies endemic to Andean cultures and political organizations have limited their positive impact.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521734172
Number of pages: 278
Weight: 390 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'In recent years, reforms that are designed to expand the participatory and deliberative quality of democracy have received growing attention from political scientists. Whereas to date the comparative politics literature has focused closely on the path-breaking experience of Porto Alegre in Brazil, Van Cott's book leads the way in showing how these reforms can and should be studied in other contexts. Based on field research in ten different municipalities in Bolivia and Ecuador, Van Cott documents the promise and perils of 'radical democracy' as it is understood and pursued by indigenous political actors. The chief conceptual contribution of the book is to document and interpret what is unique about the attempt by indigenous Latin Americans to institute the same kinds of reforms that are now being introduced throughout the developing world (and often in developed country contexts as well).' Kent Eaton, University of California, Santa Cruz
'Radical Democracy in the Andes is a comparative politics tour de force. This is perhaps the best and most comprehensive volume to date at assessing the translation of the recent Andean indigenous rights movements into local governance. It fills a gaping lacuna by unifying otherwise disparate literatures on democratic consolidation in the dynamic polities of Bolivia and Ecuador, and the broader 'malaise of Latin American democracy' literature. Radical Democracy is a must read, based on its originality, thoroughness, lucid writing, and well-conceived challenges to conventional wisdoms in both its methodological approach and its empirical exploration.' Todd A. Eisenstadt, American University
'Donna Lee Van Cott has long established herself as a pioneer and a leading figure in the study of indigenous peoples' movements and parties in Latin America. In this ambitious new book, she examines the degree to which local governments headed by indigenous peoples have succeeded in deepening democracy in Bolivia and Ecuador. Her book is a valuable contribution to debates about the quality of democracy, indigenous politics, participation and representation, and the importance of political leadership and parties.' Scott Mainwaring, University of Notre Dame
'... an indispensable book for political and social scientists interested in indigenous people and politics. Donna Lee Van Cott was a leading scholar in the field of indigenous people and politics. Her death in 2009 is an enormous loss for political and social sciences.' Elisabet Dueholm Rasch, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
"In recent years, reforms that are designed to expand the participatory and deliberative quality of democracy have received growing attention from political scientists. Whereas to date the comparative politics literature has focused closely on the path-breaking experience of Porto Alegre in Brazil, Van Cott's book leads the way in showing how these reforms can and should be studied in other contexts. Based on field research in ten different municipalities in Bolivia and Ecuador, Van Cott documents the promise and perils of `radical democracy' as it is understood and pursued by indigenous political actors. The chief conceptual contribution of the book is to document and interpret what is unique about the attempt by indigenous Latin Americans to institute the same kinds of reforms that are now being introduced throughout the developing world (and often in developed country contexts as well)." Kent Eaton, University of California, Santa Cruz
"Radical Democracy in the Andes is a comparative politics tour de force. This is perhaps the best and most comprehensive volume to date at assessing the translation of the recent Andean indigenous rights movements into local governance. It fills a gaping lacuna by unifying otherwise disparate literatures on democratic consolidation in the dynamic polities of Bolivia and Ecuador, and the broader `malaise of Latin American democracy' literature. Radical Democracy is a must read, based on its originality, thoroughness, lucid writing, and well-conceived challenges to conventional wisdoms in both its methodological approach and its empirical exploration." Todd A. Eisenstadt, American University
"Donna Lee Van Cott has long established herself as a pioneer and a leading figure in the study of indigenous peoples' movements and parties in Latin America. In this ambitious new book, she examines the degree to which local governments headed by indigenous peoples have succeeded in deepening democracy in Bolivia and Ecuador. Her book is a valuable contribution to debates about the quality of democracy, indigenous politics, participation and representation, and the importance of political leadership and parties." Scott Mainwaring, University of Notre Dame
"This is a meticulously conceptualized, designed, and implemented piece of comparative research, and it represents an important contribution to the comparative study of Latin American politics and the politics of democratization more generally...Most importantly, it sheds much light on the complex challenges of democratization, decentralization, institutional innovation, and municipal governance occasioned by the unprecedented mobilization of indigenous peoples and by formation of indigenous-based social movements and political parties in the Andes." Perspectives on Politics, Waltraud Q. Morales, University of Central Florida

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