Urfolks selvbestemmelse og demokratiets rolle

Institusjonalisering av rettigheter og representasjon


  • Torvald Falch
  • Per Selle


Indigenous self-determination and the role of democracy. Institutionalization of rights and representation

Indigenous politics is a result of the human rights revolution after World War II, and the mobilization by ethnic groups for recognition, equality, and influence over their own situation. In the last 30 years, the awareness of the right to self-determination has given new impetus and content to how the relationship between indigenous peoples and the state should be. As part of this deep-going change, the question of how indigenous peoples institutionalize themselves as a political community with legitimate representation has become increasingly important and challenging. This article analyzes structural constellations that define the opportunity space of modern indigenous politics, exemplified by the development trends in Canada and the Nordic countries. In analyzing this, it is crucial to understand the relationship between ethnicity, indigenous peoples, and self-determination. With this as a starting point, the important role of internationalization, state integration, territorialization and urbanization are analyzed. These dimensions lead both individually and through mutual effects in the direction of Indigenous self-determination institutions with certain main characteristics. The most important characteristics are democratically directly elected large-scale institutions where the right to vote rests heavily on individual self-identification, and in which Indigenous politics build on functional territoriality.