Participating as indigenous people. Government and protest in the Amazonian uses of consultation – Peru

Special report—Analyzing the social categorization of minority populations
By Doris Buu-Sao

Through an ethnography of “prior consultation” in Peru, this article looks at the ambivalent ethnicization of participatory devices targeting “indigenous” groups. First, it studies the place of prior consultation within the Peruvian system of social conflict management, which focuses especially on indigenous groups. It analyzes in particular how prior consultation involves the production of neutralized ethno-racial categories. The article then moves on to highlight the participants’ ability to repoliticize these categories, depending on their socialization in protest action. This level of socialization varies between individuals, which helps us to better understand the pacifying power of prior consultation, which eventually marginalized those most opposed to the categories prescribed by the consultative format.

  • citizen participation
  • population
  • categorization
  • minority groups
  • prior consultation
  • Peru
  • indigenous people
  • social conflicts
  • pacification
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