Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

David H. Carwell


The central question of this analysis is how the proportional representation electoral systems in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru are linked to indigenous political representation. I argue that the electoral system and its affect on party structures and party development are part of the reason why indigenous people, who make up a great part of the population in these three countries, are chronically under-represented in their political systems. In these case studies, district and national level data from the two most recent elections for the national legislatures was analyzed in terms of indigenous party formation and success. The study concludes that the institutional factors that were considered have a negative influence on indigenous representation in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, but could gain more explanatory power if viewed in connection with social-economic factors, such as indigenous cultural values and poverty.