Marcos S. Scauso


Political Science: International Relations​ and Political Theory

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Indianismo: Debating Conditions of Possibility for Multi-relational Coexistence 

Dissertation Committee: Cecelia Lynch (Chair), Nicholas Onuf, Daniel Brunstetter, and Kevin Olson. (Defended May 18, 2018).

Thematic Areas of Research

​Throughout Chapter One, I first sought to define my main research goal. Second, I defined the problem of difference and coexistence based on the work of other authors and the interpretation of Indianista texts. This conceptualization led me to the discussion of how other approaches (i.e., liberalism, Marxism, and decolonialism) interpreted Indianismo and silenced some of the most relevant contributions potentially made by this set of practices. Third, I discussed notions of practice, genealogy, and archival research in order to define a methodology delineating the process of interpretation of Indianismo. Finally, I sought to shine light on how this research could make both theoretical and politico-normative contributions.

The rest of the dissertation worked through the tasks required to accomplish my goals in the following order. In Chapter Two, I discussed the definitions of practice and genealogy, which helped me to develop the possibility of a dialogue between Indianismo and Foucault in the study of coexistence and difference. This discussion began from Foucault’s definition of practices, but it coherently emphasized the constitutive side of discourse, the normative orientation of discourse analysis, and the role of marginalized voices. Chapter Two thus consistently connected interpretivism to the definitions of practice, genealogy, archival research, coexistence, the agentic role of marginalized voices, the role of the interpreter as an actor involved in a systematic dialogue about boundaries, and the possibility of deploying Decolonial Indianismo to question dominant notions of coexistence. In this chapter, Foucault paves the way to think about the problem of difference and coexistence, but Indianismo moves beyond some of his limitations. 

In Chapter Three, I discussed how Revolutionary Indianismo sought to solve the problem of coexistence and foreclosed the discussion of differences by settling a universalized ethnic notion of equality and authorizing a single kind of agent.

Chapter Four described how Fausto Reinaga opened a Decolonial form of Indianismo, which emerged as a solution to some of the limitations endogenously imposed by Revolutionary Indianistas. Here, F. Reinaga sought to expand the notion of difference by including ecological ideas of equality. Despite his capacity to move beyond some of the limitations of previous Revolutionary productions, F. Reinaga still constrained his discourse through some of the anthropocentric contradictions that he continued to reinforce. He also created an epistemological form of authorization that monopolized knowledge within the hands of a single kind of agent. Other voices and struggles remained excluded as inferior and untrue. 

Chapter Five then showed how Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui actually sought to stay within a philosophical tension to act politically while also remaining reflexive about possibilities of exclusions. Her work highlights the most innovative implications of Indianismo for International Relations. 

Chapter Six described how the Liberal branch of Indianismo redefined the issue of coexistence by limiting difference and foreclosing again the discussion of the tension. This form of Indianismo was related to the state-ran normalization and institutionalization of this discourse in Bolivia under the government of Evo Morales Ayma and Álvaro García Linera.

Finally, the Conclusion summarized my findings and delineated some the potential implications of the endogenously reflexive form of multi-relational global coexistence. Many of these questions were oriented towards the constructions of coexistence and international rights found within the United Nations, but still required future research.