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Abstract

Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico are three Latin American states with a vast number of similarities, including significant indigenous populations. However, despite the historical and cultural similarities of these states, Bolivia has sustainably more indigenous political representation in its government, compared to Peru and Mexico. Previous literature suggests that neoliberalism, civil society, and reserved seats/quotas are factors that can positively affect indigenous representation in politics. This comparative analysis tests these three contributory factors in an attempt to explain the political representation gaps between the three states. This study indicates that neoliberalism does positively increase indigenous political representation, but not in the same capacity as scholars believe. Civil society and reserved seats/quotas are not significant contributory factors, as some experts have argued. The findings of this essay conflict with previous literature, and it suggests that future research is needed to study the impact of environmental degradation on indigenous political representation in Latin America.

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