Indigenous geopolitics



Publication Details

Gibson, C. (2013). Indigenous geopolitics. In K. Dodds, M. Kuus & J. Sharp (Eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics (pp. 421-437). Farnham, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing Limited.


This chapter discusses indigenous peoples as agents of geopolitical change. It reviews strands of work in geography that discuss indigenous peoples and geopolitical issues of territory, identity and subject-formation. As I hope to show here, indigenous people are more than merely agents of a parochial form of geopolitics - this is no 'niche' form of 'minority studies' within the political geographical tradition. Rather, manifold engagements with indigenous peoples - in colonial encounters, in government policy, in the spaces of contemporary everyday life- have deeply shaped the world we now know. Examinations of indigenous peoples and geopolitics bring into sharp relief questions of land and control, resources and livelihoods, agency and cultural identity- processes that as Glassman argued, affect literally billions of people (2006: 609). In more subtle ways, too, the manner in which indigenous people have been conceptualized historically has shaped both geopolitical relations globally and the broader handling of human cultural and geographical difference.

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