European Conquest and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Moral Backwardness of International Society

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November 2010



Paul Keal examines the historical role of international law and political theory in justifying the dispossession of indigenous peoples as part of the expansion of international society. Paradoxically, he argues, law and political theory can now form the basis of the recovery of indigenous rights. Arguing for the recognition of indigenous peoples as "peoples" with the right of self-determination in constitutional and international law, Keal questions the moral legitimacy of international society and examines concepts of collective guilt and responsibility.


Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Bringing 'peoples' into international society; 2. Wild 'men' and other tales; 3. Dispossession and the purposes of international law; 4. Recovering rights: land, self-determination and sovereignty; 5. The political and moral legacy of conquest; 6. Dealing with difference; Conclusion; Appendix; Select bibliography; Index.


Paul Keal is a Fellow of the Department of International Relations at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. He is the author of Unspoken Rules and Super Power Dominance (1983), editor of Ethics and Foreign Policy (1992), and with Andrew Mack, co-editor of Security and Arms Control in the North Pacific (1988).


'Keal has written an important book that has been long overdue in the study of International Relations. Until now, the concerns of indigenous peoples have been present in the postcolonial literature but largely ignored in IR ( with a few exceptions). No doubt one of the reasons for this is the stupefying tendency to refer to such political movements as 'domestic'. Keal elegantly reveals the hollow basis of this argument.' International Affairs '... Keal's book will give a good sense of the range of issues involved ... clear and concise ... an eloquent testimony to the intellectual and political challenges raised by the growing world-wide mobilization of indigenous peoples.' Ethnic and Racial Studies 'European Conquest and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a valuable contribution to a debate that has persisted since Europeans made first contact with alien civilizations. Keal presents his arguments with great clarity. Contemporary Political Theory
EAN: 9780521824712
ISBN: 0521824710
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Studies in Internati'. New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2010
Seitenanzahl: 276 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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