Issues in the measure and interpretation of Political Horizontal Inequalities: The case of Guatemala.

Abstract

This paper has two central concerns, evaluating and interpreting political horizontal inequalities in Guatemala. Following from the introduction and a discussion of methodological issues, this paper is organised in five distinct sections. The first section provides a general overview of Guatemalan politics and how indigenous people have fitted in the various political regimes of the country. The second and third section details the data on political horizontal inequalities. First, examining the reform of the state apparatus supposedly set to facilitate the incorporation of indigenous people in the state apparatus, and then moving on to determine the number of indigenous people in key state institutions (judiciary, police and armed forces) and in high public office posts. The last section of the data details the profile of indigenous people in the wider political system, establishing the numbers of indigenous mayors and deputies. The evaluation of political horizontal inequalities is concluded by examining the position and profile of indigenous people in the main political parties of Guatemala. The fourth section of the paper moves away from the general focus on state and formal political institutions, uncovering the arenas where indigenous people have actively participated in the running of their affairs. The latter provides an insight in mechanisms and processes of accommodation which go some way to compensate for political horizontal inequalities. By gaining an insight into these mechanisms, a better understanding of the timing of indigenous incorporation into the armed conflict is gained. The final section summarises the findings, providing a general overview of the prospects for greater indigenous incorporation into state and political institutions. This paper was presented at 'Conflict Prevention and Peaceful Development: Policies to Reduce Inequality and Exclusion', a CRISE policy conference held on July 9-10, 2007 at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford.

Citation

Caumartin, C. Issues in the measure and interpretation of Political Horizontal Inequalities: The case of Guatemala. (2007) 47 pp.

Issues in the measure and interpretation of Political Horizontal Inequalities: The case of Guatemala.

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