Self-determination in Western Democracies: Aboriginal Politics in a Comparative Perspective

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Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1992 - Political Science - 113 pages
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This interdisciplinary study offers an analytical and theoretical framework for understanding the dynamics of political change and self-determination when indigenous people assert claims of aboriginal status. How have certain peoples--who make up less than two percent of the national population, who are poor, and who are dispersed and on the economic and political periphery of the modern western democracies where they live--been able to extract legislative and constitutional concessions that allow them greater self-determination from large, wealthy, and powerful ethno-national groups? Werther's findings, which contradict existing ideas, should be of considerable interest to students and scholars in political science, anthropology, ethnic studies, international and constitutional law, and intellectual history.

Following a brief introduction about self-determination movements as quiet revolutions and a discussion of theoretical method, the study defines aboriginal status and discusses the macrostructuring of political claims, micropolitical processes and clashes of claims, and aboriginal status in six democratic states. Appendixes point to people claiming aboriginal status in the countries under study, list those who can legitimately assert this status, and offer some considerations on basic definitions important to this cross-disciplinary study. A bibliography is also provided.

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The Formation of Aboriginal Peoples in the First World
Structuring Political Claims for Success
A Clash of Claims

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About the author (1992)

GUNTRAM F. A. WERTHER is Associate Professor of International Politics and Director, Global Research and Development Institute, Western International University.

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