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Donna Lee Van Cott, "Party System Development and Indigenous Populations in Latin America: The Bolivian Case," Party Politics, 6 (April 2000), 155-174.

First Paragraph:
The transition from authoritarian to elected, constitutional government in almost all countries of Latin America in the last 2 decades raised hopes that the Americas might at last become a hemisphere where democratic, representative government is the rule rather than the exception. Although most countries that made the transition have achieved a peaceful electoral alternation of power many have been unable to consolidate democratic institutions. One reason for this failure is the fragility, fragmentation and extreme volatility of Latin American party systems -- the crucial institutions of formal mediation between state and society in democracies. In a recent multi-country study, Mainwaring and Scully (1995) computed measures of party system institutionalization for 12 Latin American countries. They defined party system institutionalization as stable inter-party competition. In institutionalized party systems, parties have roots in society, parties and elections are accepted as legitimate institutions, and party organizations have stable rules and structures. A correlation between Mainwaring and Scully's measures with population data found a strong inverse relationship between the institutionalization of a state's political party system and the size of its indigenous population.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Party system institutionalization and indigenous population
Table 2: Inequality and poverty

Last Paragraph:
The Bolivian case illustrates my hypothesis: parties in countries with significant indigenous populations organize in a distinct manner to dominate large rural, isolated, culturally distinct communities because there are clear incentives as well as mechanisms to do so. These incentives remained relatively constant until a set of changes in the incentive structure of Bolivia s political system occurred in the late 1980s. In addition, party elites lost formerly effective tools of exclusion: literacy increased dramatically in the 1970s, racial discrimination was no longer socially acceptable in the 1990s, indigenous leaders were no longer willing to be coopted by the early 1980s, and the geographic isolation of indigenous peoples was reduced by massive urban migration in the 1980s. In response, party elites changed their approach to the indigenous population.