1st Edition

Scales of Governance and Indigenous Peoples' Rights

Edited By Irene Bellier, Jennifer Hays Copyright 2020
    306 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    306 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book takes an interdisciplinary approach to the complicated power relations surrounding the recognition and implementation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights at multiple scales.

    The adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 was heralded as the beginning of a new era for Indigenous Peoples’ participation in global governance bodies, as well as for the realization of their rights – in particular, the right to self-determination. These rights are defined and agreed upon internationally, but must be enacted at regional, national, and local scales. Can the global movement to promote Indigenous Peoples’ rights change the experience of communities at the local level? Or are the concepts that it mobilizes, around rights and political tools, essentially a discourse circulating internationally, relatively disconnected from practical situations? Are the categories and processes associated with Indigenous Peoples simply an extension of colonial categories and processes, or do they challenge existing norms and structures? This collection draws together the works of anthropologists, political scientists, and legal scholars to address such questions. Examining the legal, historical, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of the Indigenous Peoples' rights movement, at global, regional, national, and local levels, the chapters present a series of case studies that reveal the complex power relations that inform the ongoing struggles of Indigenous Peoples to secure their human rights.

    The book will be of interest to social scientists and legal scholars studying Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and international human rights movements in general.

    Table of Contents

    List of contributors


    Indigenous Peoples' Rights: Global circulation, colonial heritage, and resistance

    Irène Bellier and Jennifer Hays

    Part I: Circulating between the scales: the global, the national, and the local

    Chapter 1: Participation of Indigenous Peoples in Issues Affecting Them: A Matter of Negotiation at the United Nations

    Irène Bellier

    Chapter 2: Defining the terms of Indigenous Peoples' rights in Namibia: The role of the International Labor Organization

    Jennifer Hays

    Chapter 3: Indigenous peoples’ rights and policies: the role of the UN in Mexico

    Verónica González González

    Chapter 4: Traversing the Scales of Rights: Interventions from Indigenous Peoples of Cambodia at the United Nations

    Neal B. Keating

    Part II: Colonial Legacies

    Chapter 5: Colonial Legacy and Public Policy: from primitive to indigenous in French Guiana (1930-present)

    Stéphanie Guyon

    Chapter 6: Decoloniality Put to the Test: The Plurinational State of Bolivia

    Laurent Lacroix

    Chapter 7: Leveraging International Power: Private Property and the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

    Brian Thom

    Chapter 8: The Logic of Elimination in (Post-)Colonial Law: Indigenous Entanglements in the Kimberley region of Australia

    Martin Préaud

    Part III: Resisting Processes of Invisibilization

    Chapter 9: Criminalization and Judicialization of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Chile: Current Dynamics

    Leslie Cloud and Fabien Le Bonniec

    Chapter 10: Burning a home that ‘doesn’t exist,’ arresting people who ‘aren’t there’: A critique of eviction-based conservation and the Sengwer of Embobut forest, Kenya

    Justin Kenrick

    Chapter 11: Redefining University Research Enterprises: partnership and collaboration in Laxyuup Gitxaala

    Charles R. Menzies and Caroline F. Butler



    Irène Bellier, is a senior research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and teaches at the Graduate School of Social Sciences (Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, EHESS) in Paris. She is the director of the Laboratory of the Anthropology of Institutions and Social Organizations (LAIOS) at Interdisciplinary Institute for Contemporary Anthropology (IIAC).

    Jennifer Hays is an associate professor of social anthropology in the Department of Social Sciences (ISS) at UiT the Arctic University of Norway, in Tromsø.