Indigeneity As Social Construct and Political Tool – Human Rights Quarterly – article

Indigeneity As Social Construct and Political Tool

Benjamin Gregg | Human Rights Quarterly


The goal of indigenous rights and recognition is best served by recognizing the social constructedness of indigeneity as a political tool to ground claims within nation states. An indigenous right to internal self-determination can be framed as a human right if understood as a bottom-up construction of self-assigning authors. This argument has four parts: (1) Various features of the social construction of indigeneity as well as (2) various ways in which it can be deployed politically (3) show why domestic law can advance the project more than international law can. (4) But the project does not exclude international law; rather, it offers an additional means of pursuing indigenous interests.


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