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The Origins of IndigenismHuman Rights and the Politics of Identity$
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Ronald Niezen

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235540

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235540.001.0001

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The New Politics of Resistance

The New Politics of Resistance

(p.145) 5 The New Politics of Resistance
The Origins of Indigenism

Ronald Niezen

University of California Press

The ways that internationally active indigenous leaders are seeking to apply human rights to their own interests is to prioritize recognition by states and international organizations of indigenous self determination. This chapter discusses the implications of this strategy for the development of human rights standards specific to indigenous peoples. The development of local laws and other exercises of inherent legal authority are taking place in some indigenous communities and organizations encouraged by the recognition of the wide implications of indigenous self determination. Another recent use of the human rights system is as a focal point of embarrassment—the “politics of shame.” This tactic has been effectively applied by indigenous organizations to encourage government recognition of indigenous peoples' distinct claims to self-determination and of the need to provide subsidized, semi autonomous regional administrations. It is the only real leverage possible in a human rights system that, aside from several criminal tribunals pursuing war crimes and acts of genocide, for the most part is lacking in meaningful sanctions against states or those in control of state power.

Keywords:   politics of resistance, human rights system, indigenous communities, criminal tribunals, acts of genocide

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