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Multicultural or homogenous? The quality of the emerging Guatemalan democracy and the influence of Pentecostal political activism.

The project will investigate how the influence of the Pentecostal political activism affects the balance of power and the level of inclusiveness in the emerging Guatemalan democracy. The research is aimed at exploring the tensions between the ideal of a m ulticultural democracy, and the practice of socio-political exclusion and racism. Guatemalan politics is still a story of exclusion and racism, severely challenging the processes of democratisation. This research seeks to analyse the balance of power in Guatemalan politics and the ways in which this has been transferred into the new representative offices. The relatively recent commitment to democratic ideals, first expressed in the 1985 Constitution, today involves a signed commitment to democratic pra ctices complying with the pluricultural reality of the Guatemalan state, as embedded in the Peace Accords from 1996. Roughly fifty percent of the population is considered indigenous, however, developing multicultural policies has proved to be a highly pro blematic political issue. Analyses of policy initiatives led by Evangelical organisations and Pentecostal political actors will propose that a Pentecostal worldview has been employed to reject social and structural reforms put forward in the Peace Accor ds. Political activism by central actors of the Pentecostal movement is considered to strengthen the traditional conservative elites and the socioeconomic status quo, and thus the upholding of the (in)balance of power in Guatemalan politics

Einar Berntzen
01.12.2010 - 12.07.2015