Conceptualising Indigenous Self-Determination as Negotiation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Business and Public Management

First Advisor

Dr Gail Lugten


The issue of self-determination for indigenous peoples is a subject for which there is increasing attention and continuing relevance. Despite this, progress towards delivering a regime or an indisputable right of self-determination for indigenous peoples is limited by two factors. Firstly, the lack of an explicit expression of the right as an international standard; and secondly, the lack of a conception of what indigenous self-determination is to mean. This thesis answers these questions in the following way: as indigenous peoples are for the foreseeable future to be contained as special 'minorities' within states, and as they must therefore enlist the cooperation of states in effecting their self-determination, this self-determination will depend upon some form of negotiation; negotiation which can best be instigated and protected by the official international recognition of the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination. Much attention is given in the thesis to the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (adopted by the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in 1994), due to its emphasis on the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination.

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