Transnationalism, Development, and Culture
in Theory and Practice
ndigenous politics and policy in the Andes highlight how development and
intersect in complex but patterned ways. Weaving together an under-
standing of discursive, organizational, and social connections, we have provided
a poststructural account of the uneven character and effects of these processes.
Our study of new encounters between indigenous peoples’ movements and net-
works of development actors has implications for academic study, development
policy and practice, and social-movement struggles for collective empowerment.
This concluding chapter discusses these ramifications and then contextualizes
them with respect to recent political changes in Ecuador and Bolivia, centered
on the governments of “post-neoliberal” presidents Rafael Correa (Ecuador)
and Evo Morales (Bolivia).
Implications for Academic Inquiry
Our call for nuanced analyses of indigenous politics suggests the need to think
across scales and underscores the exigency of joining critical, theoretical in-
sights from various academic disciplines on development, international rela-
tions, social movements, globalization, gender, ethnicity, and race. Because of
the intricate and expansive character of the relationship between development
and culture, we opted for a theoretical composite that affords explanatory am-
plitude and complexity over a theoretical unity that might furnish explanatory
austerity and simplicity.
We approached this theoretical synthesis by refining two prevailing ap-
proaches to transnationalism. First, in contrast to the singular ethnic groupings
of transnational communities comprised of diaspora migrants or global business
expatriates, we interrogated a multiethnic transnational community of policy-
making institutions, advocacy organizations, and indigenous social movements.
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