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Marc Becker and Richard Stahler-Sholk

Political developments in Latin America have driven academic interest in Indigenous movements. This phenomenon emerged most clearly in the aftermath of massive uprisings that led to a flood of publications framed as “the return of the Indian” to the public consciousness. Much of our understanding of the history and trajectory of social movement organizing is a result of publications in response to these protests. Contemporary political concerns continue to inform much of the cutting-edge research on Indigenous movements. These issues include relations between social movements and elected officials (often framed as debates over horizontalism versus authoritarianism) and whether the extraction of natural resources can lead to economic development, including intense discussions over neoextractivism and the sumak kawsay, the Quechua term for living well (with equivalent phrases in other Indigenous languages, often translated in Spanish as buen vivir).