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Indigenous Peoples' Status in the International Legal System$
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Mattias Åhrén

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778196.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Political Theory that Underpins the Law

Political Theory that Underpins the Law

(p.39) 3 Political Theory that Underpins the Law
Indigenous Peoples' Status in the International Legal System

Mattias Åhrén

Oxford University Press

The chapter starts with the premise that international law is neither created nor exists in isolation. Rather, evolved understandings of justice may in turn lead to changes also in the law. The chapter initially outlines various forms of individual liberal theories, concluding that these are all inhospitable towards the notion of rights of groups. The chapter subsequently proceeds to explain how the basic premises of conventional individual liberalism have more recently been increasingly challenged, prompting the emergence of political philosophical theories more predisposed to group rights. The chapter ends by posing the question whether this development within political philosophy may have driven a change in international law as well. Together with Chapters 2 and 4, this chapter sets the stage for the subsequent analysis of what rights indigenous peoples and communities possess under contemporary international law.

Keywords:   Liberalism, social contracts, communitarianism, multiculturalism, individual human rights, collective human rights

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