Indigenous Sovereignty and the Democratic Project: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Indigenous Sovereignty and the Democratic Project

1st Edition

By Steven Curry


192 pages

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Hardback: 9780754623403
pub: 2004-10-28

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Liberal democracies are predicated on popular sovereignty - the ideal of government for and by the People. Throughout the developed world indigenous peoples continue to deny legitimacy to otherwise popular governments because their consent has never been sought. Using examples from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, this book tackles the problem of democratic legitimation from the perspective of indigenous peoples, arguing that having suffered conquest, these people cannot be said to consent until conditions for their consent have been realised. These conditions include constitutional change that recognizes indigenous law as the 'law of the land' - a radical proposal going far beyond the current limits of self-determination.


'This penetrating, provocative and accessible book demonstrates the connection between sovereignty and justice for indigenous peoples. It will be read with profit by political and legal theorists, ethicists and activists - indeed by anyone who has an interest in the concept and practice of sovereignty and in reconciliation between indigenous and settler peoples.' Andrew Alexandra, Editor, Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Philosophy 'Curry's opening pages are astoundingly good…His voice is fresh, scholarly, and clear-spoken.' The Law and Politics Book Review 'The book presents a concept, how indigenous peoples could and should be respected and proposes a way in which direction indigenous peoples' recognition should move.' Austrian Review of International and European Law

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. Nations Within: 'We are only demanding our country'; Playing with the umpire. Long Live The King!: Long live the king!; The act of state; State and nation. Born To Rule: We the people; Imagining the people; The appeal to heaven; Born to rule. Indigenous Sovereignty: Applications and limitations; On a new republic; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Dr Steven Curry is Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Australia. He previously worked at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University, Australia.

About the Series

Applied Legal Philosophy

Applied Legal Philosophy
The principal objective of this series is to encourage the publication of books which adopt a theoretical approach to the study of particular areas or aspects of law, or deal with general theories of law in a way which is directed at issues of practical, moral and political concern in specific legal contexts. The general approach is both analytical and critical and relates to the socio-political background of law reform issues. This series includes studies of all the main areas of law, presented in a manner which relates to the concerns of specialist legal academics and practitioners. Each book makes an original contribution to an area of legal study while being comprehensible to those engaged in a wide variety of disciplines. Their legal content is principally Anglo-American, but a wide-ranging comparative approach is encouraged and authors are drawn from a variety of jurisdictions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / International