Indigenous Civil Society in Latin America

Collective Action in the Digital Age

By Pascal Lupien

284 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 1 fig., 4 tables

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7262-5
    Published: March 2023
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7261-8
    Published: March 2023
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7263-2
    Published: February 2023
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6267-9
    Published: February 2023

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Over the past decade, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Chile have been buffeted by intensive transformations. Political scientist Pascal Lupien here reveals how Indigenous political activists responded to these changes as part of their long, ongoing struggles for equal citizenship rights and economic and political power. Such activists are often thought to rely solely on disruptive, large-scale forms of collective action, but Lupien argues that twenty-first-century Indigenous activists have turned toward new modes of fostering Indigenous civil society. Drawing on four years of immersive, community-engaged fieldwork with more than ninety Indigenous organizations and groups within and across three countries, Lupien shows how Indigenous organizations today are newly pursuing, adapting, and sustaining local activism in a globalized, technology-centered world. He reveals that Indigenous groups have effectively built on older twentieth-century technologies—for example, radio, TV, and print media—by adapting social media technologies in ways that are unique to their political identities and day-to-day needs.

In the context of increasing recognition of global Indigeneity, Lupien's capacious, descriptive work contributes to understanding Indigenous peoples’ contemporary struggles, the evolving and unique nature of Indigenous civil society, and the return to large-scale resistance in 2019 that resulted in the largest uprisings in a generation.

About the Author

Pascal Lupien is assistant professor of political science at Brock University. He is author of Citizens' Power in Latin America: Theory and Practice.
For more information about Pascal Lupien, visit the Author Page.


'Lupien offers evidence that Indigenous peoples and technology are far from incompatible, [and] provides a convincing analytical framework to understand how information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become a key means of public engagement for Indigenous civil society. . . . An insightful and solid investigation."—Journal of Latin American Studies

" Lupien ably demonstrates through the case studies in this book [that] technology comes with trade-offs and mixed results. . . . Recommended."—CHOICE

"Innovative . . . [Indigenous Civil Society in Latin America is] well informed by social movement theory, prioritizing resource mobilization, political opportunities, and identity."—Latin American Research Review

"This is a thoughtful and impressive study. Lupien sheds important light on twenty-first century Indigenous political dynamics in the Andes, teaching us sobering lessons about the limits of digital technologies and the surprising promise of analog communication. For its timely attention to information and Indigenous politics, this is the book many of us have been waiting for."—José Antonio Lucero, author of Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes

"A fascinating read filled with rich empirical data from over a decade of field work. Engaging and accessibly written, this exceptional contribution will have broad appeal to those interested in Indigenous politics and social movements alike."—Roberta Rice, The New Politics of Protest: Indigenous Mobilization in Latin America's Neoliberal Era