This article investigates the structural causes of ethnic rebellion among the indigenous populations of Latin America. It aims to fill three important gaps in the current understanding of ethnic violence. First, the article's geographical focus brings a broad theoretical literature to a region with which it has had little experience. Second, the article acknowledges and incorporates Fearon and Laitin's argument that theories of ethnic violence should also explain instances of peace and cauterization. Third, the article offers evidence suggesting that democracy reduces the probability of rebellion. This and competing hypotheses are evaluated qualitatively with evidence gathered from secondary sources and historiographical accounts and, quantitatively, with Ted Robert Gurr's Minorities at Risk Phase III Dataset. Based on the finding that regime type is a strong predictor of ethnic violence in Latin America, the author calls for a reevaluation of the link between regime type and violent political behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science