Socio-Legal Studies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Socio-legal studies analyze the complex relationship between law and politics. This chapter utilizes a socio-legal lens to interrogate the role of rights in indigenous-state relations. Increasing the rights of indigenous peoples has been perceived as a sign of the reorganization of their relations with states. The chapter introduces three critical strands of research on rights: the state-centrism of rights, colonial rights and rights as governmentality. The discussion delves into the political power entailed in rights beyond the legal realm. Such analyses of the political role of legal developments have yet to be applied in studies of the Arctic. Indeed, to date, legal and political studies have largely focused on the role of legal instruments and institutions in the governance of the region. The chapter offers insights into how rights and perceptions of legality can maintain the dispossession of indigenous peoples—a condition that legal recognition initially sought to redress. Through this critical inquiry, the discussion demonstrates how selective recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights is in fact a tool by which states evade the threat of indigenous sovereignty and secure their own political and economic interests. Illustrating this process on the ground, the chapter discusses some recent developments in Canada.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Studies of the Arctic
Subtitle of host publicationUnravelling the North
EditorsMarjo Lindroth, Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, Monica Tennberg
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-11120-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-11119-8
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • arctic

Field of science

  • International political science


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