The indigenous movement in Ecuador has been among the most successful new social movements in Latin America since the late 1980s. Its success may be attributed to its formulation and persistent advocacy of an alternative to the changing manifestations of the capitalist order-the "plurinational state." This position has organized and motivated the movement for the past 20 years, in the course of which it has gained access to the center of economic policy for a time and more recently has operated with greater autonomy. The struggle for plurinationalism remains at the core of the indigenous movement's approach to the current progressive government of President Rafael Correa and provides a distinctly anticapitalist alternative. Though the new constitution embodies elements of the movement's program, there remain fundamental areas of disagreement on the meaning and realization of the plurinational state. [Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Inc., copyright holder.]
On many measures, the indigenous movement in Ecuador has been the most successful in Latin America. This is particularly the case in political terms where they were key players until leaving the Gutiérrez cabinet. Their influence on the direction of economic policy has been minimal, however, and the rapid economic changes undertaken by the Correa administration since 2007 may marginalize them further. This paper examines Ecuador's checkered economic performance in the Washington Consensus period and the notable changes undertaken by Pres. Correa. These changes are then set in the context of the economic programs of the indigenous movement, specifically of CONAIE (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador). This allows us to isolate several significant areas of overlap where the interests of the indigenous movement and of the Correa administration coincide and where collaboration on economic policy may be feasible.
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