Reconciling Indigenous Peoples’ Individual and Collective Rights: Participation, Prior Consultation and Self-Determination in Latin America, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Reconciling Indigenous Peoples’ Individual and Collective Rights

Participation, Prior Consultation and Self-Determination in Latin America, 1st Edition

By Jessika Eichler


196 pages | 32 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367203306
pub: 2019-05-10
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pub: 2019-05-09
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This book critically assesses categorical divisions between indigenous individual and collective rights regimes embedded in the foundations of international human rights law.

Both conceptual ambiguities and practice-related difficulties arising in vernacularisation processes point to the need of deeper reflection. Internal power struggles, vulnerabilities and intra-group inequalities go unnoticed in that context, leaving persisting forms of neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism and patriarchalism largely untouched. This is to the detriment of groups within indigenous communities such as women, the elderly or young people, alongside intergenerational rights representing considerable intersectional claims and agendas. Integrating legal theoretical, political, socio-legal and anthropological perspectives, this book disentangles indigenous rights frameworks in the particular case of peremptory norms whenever these reflect both individual and collective rights dimensions. Further-reaching conclusions are drawn for groups ‘in between’, different formations of minority groups demanding rights on their own terms. Particular absolute norms provide insights into such interplay transcending individual and collective frameworks. As one of the founding constitutive elements of indigenous collective frameworks, indigenous peoples’ right to prior consultation exemplifies what we could describe as exerting a cumulative, spill-over and transcending effect. Related debates concerning participation and self-determination thereby gain salience in a complex web of players and interests at stake. Self-determination thereby assumes yet another dimension, namely as an umbrella tool of resistance enabling indigenous cosmovisions to materialise in the light of persisting patterns of epistemological oppression.

Using a theoretical approach to close the supposed gap between indigenous rights frameworks informed by empirical insights from Bolivia, the Andes and Latin America, the book sheds light on developments in the African and European human rights systems.

Table of Contents

Table of Figures


Chapter I: Introduction

Chapter II: Setting up a Reconciliatory Framework: Reflections on Individual, Group-Based and Indigenous Collective Rights Encounters

2.1 Third Wayers and Terminologies: Bridging the Individual versus Collective Rights Divide or Third Categories as Distractions?

2.2 Dichotomies, Incommensurability or Constructed Demarcations?

2.3 Pre-conditionalism and its Impacts on Reconciling the Frameworks

2.4 Dual Standing and other Technicalities

2.5 Towards a Third Perspective within the Framework(s)

2.5.1 Absolute Individual Rights Claims in the Indigenous Collective Framework

2.5.2 Individual Entitlements in Absolute Indigenous Collective Regimes

2.5.3 Non-Derogation Claims in Non-Derogation Frameworks: Absoluteness in Individual and Collective Indigenous Claims

2.6 Conclusions: Third Perspective, Absoluteness and ‘Shared Spheres’

Chapter III: Indigenous Peoples’ Individual and Collective Rights to Participation in International Human Rights Law

3.1 Participatory Rights and their Codification in Indigenous Rights Regimes

3.1.1 The "Participation Model" of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

3.1.2 Indigenous Peoples’ Participatory Rights Regime as Shaped by the Special Rapporteur

3.1.3 The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and its Influence on Indigenous Rights Jurisprudence

3.2 Indigenous Participation in the Inter-American Human Rights System

3.2.1 The IACtHR and its Evolutionary Interpretation of Indigenous Participatory Rights

3.2.2 The IACHR and its View on Participation

3.3 Conflicting Intersectionalities? Individual Members’ Participatory Rights in Decision-Making

3.3.1 Third Perspective Applied: Absolute Claims in Individual and Collective Frameworks

3.3.2 Inter-American Jurisprudence and their Third Perspective

3.3.3 African Human Rights Developments and the Third Perspective

3.3.4 The European Human Rights System and the Third Perspective

3.3.5 3rd Perspective Inspirations from Regional Minority Rights Frameworks: from Individual Rights to Subgroups

3.4 Concluding Remarks *

Chapter IV: Associating Women’s and Indigenous Collective Decision-Making Processes: Frameworks of Exclusion?

4.1 Exploring Indigenous Concepts as to Women’s Rights vis-à-vis Indigenous Collectives

4.1.1 Buen Vivir and Complementarity: Indigenous Collective Rights in a Post-Colonial World

4.1.2 Bridging Indigenous Collectives and Women: Cosmovisions and Decolonisation

4.2 Tracing Absolute Rights Violations towards Women in Indigenous Collective Frameworks

4.2.1 Paving the Way for Women’s Rights Articulations: Indigenous Self-Determination, Sovereignty, Self-Governance in Power Politics

4.2.2 Absolute Rights in Context: Conceptually Approaching Indigenous Women’s Claims for Self-Determination

4.2.3 Approaching the Heart of Indigenous Women’s Self-Determination: Violence and Physical Integrity

4.3 Concluding Comments

Chapter V: Exploring Indigenous Rights from Within: Age Intergenerational Dimensions as Hidden Phenomena

5.1 Historical Trauma as a Conceptual Frame to Explore Individual, Group-Based and Collective Encounters

5.1.1 Identifying Absolute Rights Violations towards Elders in Indigenous Collective Regimes

5.1.2 Disentangling Youth’ Absolute Rights under the Collective Umbrella

5.3 Towards New Human Rights Regimes: Encounters of Intergenerational and Indigenous Collective Frameworks

5.4 Concluding Remarks

Chapter VI: Final Reflections



About the Author

Jessika Eichler is Research Fellow in the Law & Anthropology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and trAndeS programme, Institute for Latin American Studies, FU Berlin.

About the Series

Indigenous Peoples and the Law

The colonial modalities which resulted in the pillaging of the ‘New World’ involved wholesale dispossession, genocidal violence and exploitation of their original inhabitants. It was not, however, until the latter part of the twentieth century that Indigenous peoples attained some degree of legal recognition. This book series focuses upon the manner in which Indigenous peoples’ experiences of law have been transformed from an oppressive system of denying rights to a site of contestation and the articulation of various forms of self-governance. Encouraging a range of theoretical, political and ethical perspectives on Indigenous peoples and the law, this book series aims to provide a comprehensive survey of the experience of Indigenous peoples and their changing relationship with national and international juridical frameworks.  

The series will include both monographs and edited collections pursuing variety a of perspectives – including, but not limited to, a concern with:

  • Law as a mechanism of power/knowledge: that is, the discursive and biopolitical strategies of Conquest, Settlement, and Empire – with a  particular interest in how the juridical was deployed to validate land appropriation in the ‘New World’ and European colonies. This might include consideration of the influence of the writings of Vattel, Blackstone, Sepulveda, Vittoria, las Casas and others in framing Indigenous populations and their lands as supposedly amenable to colonization.
  • The role of law in authorising oppression, dispossession and genocide in the colonial period, and how such juridical moments continue to shape relations between Indigenous peoples and the State. This might include consideration of: specific governmental policies and legislation that allowed for forced removal of Indigenous children; appropriation of Indigenous lands; the imposition of regimes of control through government reserves and missions; and/or the role of treaties in providing legal justification for the dispossession of Indigenous peoples.
  • Contemporary issues that confront Indigenous peoples in their dealings with law in the global present. This might include consideration of: disputes relating to resource extraction; access to justice and over-representation in the criminal justice system; cultural heritage and intellectual property claims; the recognition of Indigenous laws; land rights; the belated recognition of Indigenous rights in both ‘new’ constitutions and in international law; and/or sovereignty.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for the series, please contact:

Mark Harris

The University of British Columbia


Colin Perrin


2 Park Square

Milton Park



OX14 4RN

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Natural Resource Extraction
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Conflict Resolution & Mediation
LAW / General
LAW / Comparative
LAW / International
LAW / Natural Resources
LAW / Indigenous Peoples
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies