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Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, is considered to be one of the most violent insurgencies to originate in the Western Hemisphere. They caused destruction throughout Peru in order to incite a peasant uprising that would eventually engulf Lima, the capital, and introduce a “New Democracy.” Although the movement claimed to be based on an indigenous Peruvian identity, the presence of a Marxist framework creates a conflict with the nationalist sentiment. This paper examines the conflict between nationalist and Marxist ideologies in the context of the Shining Path insurgency in Peru. By examining the seminal work of Marx and Engels, along with Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, this paper attempts to explore the inherent limits that nationalism bestows on Marxist insurgencies and if they can be reconciled.


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18 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Imagined Communities, Tangible Limits

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 91

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dylan Maynard is a M.A. candidate in World History at NYU.