Recognition and the politics of indigenous citizenship

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Recognition theory responds to political exclusion. It provides ways
of thinking about the tension between universal liberal citizenship
and the distinctive claims that indigenous peoples make with
reference to prior occupancy and the universal right to self determination. However, the complex and contested political
questions that recognition theory examines are not easily
answered. In this article, I propose Nancy Fraser’s participatory
parity as a transformative, and not simply distributive, approach to
recognition, which offers scope for substantive indigenous voice
in state policy making. I use participatory parity to contest
arguments that the meaningful recognition of indigenous peoples
is not possible in liberal democracies like Australia and New
Zealand. I argue that, instead, participatory parity complements
the extant authority that indigenous peoples claim over their own
affairs. This kind of recognition, through differentiated citizenship,
means that indigenous peoples are simultaneously inside and
outside the state. Recognition through participatory parity
provides a foundation for self-determination. However, its full
potential and moral acceptability to indigenous peoples depend
on it being the genuine recognition of equals and on its capacity
to provide reasons to accept the moral legitimacy of the state
which may, for many indigenous people, be an unrealistic and
unreasonable expectation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPolitics, Groups, and Identities
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020


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