In this paper I examine the cultural politics of international development among Ecuadorian indigenous federations. Many critiques, focused on the national or international scale, have portrayed development as monolithic, homogenizing, and depoliticized. However, when specific practices and discourses of development are examined, particularly among locally based rural peoples' organizations, it becomes clear that development is a diverse process, and its meaning is highly contested. I argue that, for Ecuadorian indigenous organizations, international development provides an idiom for negotiating civil and resource rights. This process is demonstrated through an institutional ethnography of an indigenous federation in the Ecuadorian Amazon, which highlights the ways that the federation uses the discourses of nationalist development and environmentalism in order to contest official understandings of citizenship and the nation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)