Up-Rising Out of Poverty: The Role of Self-Determination, Political Attitudes and Legitimacy in the Mapuche Movement

University essay from Lunds universitet/LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management

Abstract: Chile is often portrayed as the paradigmatic case of a smooth transition from dictatorship to democracy, sustained by high rates of economic growth. This picture conceals a more complex reality of social conflict provoked by political reform that favors capitalistic advancement at the expense of resource exploitation and the continual and irreversible reduction and destruction of Mapuche land. As the clash between the indigenous group and the Chilean state intensify, this research explores how perceived levels of self-determination held by varying Mapuche leaders shape their political attitudes and legitimize their actions with or against the State. Conceptual frameworks and perspectives related to worldview, postcolonialism, neoliberal multiculturalism and self-determination construct the lens of the analysis. Ultimately, I contend that perceptions of self-determination and empowerment play a powerful role in shaping the relationship between Mapuche communities and the Chilean state and may serve as means of rising up and out of economic poverty.

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