Democracy, power and indigeneity

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This paper identifies a theoretical nexus between indigeneity and liberal democracy in three post-colonial contexts. Like democracy, the politics of indigeneity asks questions and makes assumptions about where power ought to lie and how it ought to be shared in relation to political inclusion and national sovereignty. The paper argues that indigeneity's interaction with democracy highlights liberal theory's limitations, as well as the opportunities it provides to meet indigenous claims and conceptions of justice. Exploring the ideological tensions and commonalities between democracy and indigeneity allows the paper to contrast, in comparative context, the proposition that in Fiji, for example, democracy is 'a foreign flower' unsuited to the local environment, with the argument that liberal representative democracy can, in fact, mediate power in favour of an inclusive national polity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-101
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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