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
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.