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Return of the Natives: Explaining the Development and Non-Development of Political Action by Indigenous Peoples in Democratic Political Systems

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image of International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Studies of individuals or groups who might use violence or terrorism in pursuit of political goals often focus on the specific actions which these individuals or groups have taken and on the policies which defenders (that is, governments of states) against such actions may adopt in response. Typically, less attention is devoted to identifying the relevant preconditions of political action and possible escalation to violence and how or why potential actions may be obviated before they occur. In the context of democratic political systems, the present analysis addresses these issues via examination of indigenous peoples, who typically constitute tiny fractions of the population of the states or regions in which they reside, in terms of their past and present treatment by governments and the political actions, whether non-violent or violent, which individuals from these peoples have engaged or may engage. The specific peoples examined are Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia, Haudenosaunee of North America, Inuit of Canada, Maori of New Zealand, and Saami of Scandinavia.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Public Administration, Barry University Miami Shores, FL, USA


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