Shadow Nations: Tribal Sovereignty and the Limits of Legal Pluralism

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9780199735860: Shadow Nations: Tribal Sovereignty and the Limits of Legal Pluralism

American Indian tribes have long been recognized as "domestic, dependent nations" within the United States, with powers of self-government that operate within the tribes' sovereign territories. Yet over the years, Congress and the Supreme Court have steadily eroded these tribal powers. In some respects, the erosion of tribal powers reflects the legacy of an imperialist impulse to constrain or eliminate any political power that may compete with the state. These developments have moved the nation away from its early commitments to a legally plural society--in other words, the idea that multiple nations and their legal systems could co-exist peacefully in shared territories.

Shadow Nations argues for redirecting the trajectory of tribal-federal relations to better reflect the formative ethos of legal pluralism that operated in the nation's earliest years. From an ideological standpoint, this means that we must reexamine several long-held commitments. One is to legal centralism, the view that the nation-state and its institutions are the only legitimate sources of law. Another is to liberalism, the dominant political philosophy that undergirds our democratic structures and situates the individual, not the group or a collective, as the bedrock moral unit of society. From a constitutional standpoint, establishing more robust expressions of tribal sovereignty will require that we take seriously the concerns of citizens, tribal and non-tribal alike, who demand that tribal governments operate consistently with basic constitutional values. From an institutional standpoint, these efforts will require a new, flexible and adaptable institutional architecture that is better suited to accommodating these competing interests.

Argued with grace, humanity, and a peerless scholarly eye, Shadow Nations is a clarion call for a true and consequential rethinking of the legal and political relationship between Indigenous tribes and the United States government.

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About the Author:


N. Bruce Duthu is the Samson Occom Professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. An internationally recognized scholar of Native American law and policy, Duthu is the author of American Indians and the Law (2008) and was a contributing author to Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (2005), the leading treatise in the field. He previously served as professor of law at Vermont Law School and as visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School and institutions in Australia and Italy. He is a member of the United Houma Nation of Louisiana.

Review:


"Duthu's study reveals the complex and ancient reality of legal pluralism. This is inspiring work for nations and peoples in Latin America who embrace legal pluralism in the renewal of their constitutional systems."--Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze, former President of Bolivia


"Shadow Nations is an elegant yet robust account of the complex and distinctive relationship between Indigenous Nations and the United States. It sheds needed light on a subject fraught with ambiguity and tension. Highly recommended."--David E. Wilkins (Lumbee), University of Minnesota


"Duthu critically and humanely analyzes the trajectory of Indian-federal relations as he persuasively argues to re-invigorate a spirit of legal pluralism. Meticulous dissection of popular and juridical understandings of the key terms of our national history - sovereignty, self-determination, incorporation, liberalism, democracy, incorporation, citizenship - anchors the compelling moral, legal, and pragmatic strategies for action that Duthu presents in the final chapters. Grounded in history, critically engaged with legal systems, powered by social justice, and intellectually driven by Indigenous studies, Shadow Nations is a must read."--K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Professor, American Indian Studies, University of Arizona


"This book digs through the details of Federal Indian law to effectively expose theoretical flaws eroding the foundations of tribal sovereignty. Duthu's thoughtful reconstruction demonstrates how legal pluralism can build a jurisprudence which is both respectful of tribal sovereignty and the aspirations for freedom, liberty and equality which have long animated American political thought."--John Borrows, Robina Chair in Law, Society, and Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Minnesota


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. American Indian tribes have long been recognized as domestic, dependent nations within the United States, with powers of self-government that operate within the tribes sovereign territories. Yet over the years, Congress and the Supreme Court have steadily eroded these tribal powers. In some respects, the erosion of tribal powers reflects the legacy of an imperialist impulse to constrain or eliminate any political power that may compete with the state. These developments have moved the nation away from its early commitments to a legally plural society-in other words, the idea that multiple nations and their legal systems could co-exist peacefully in shared territories. Shadow Nations argues for redirecting the trajectory of tribal-federal relations to better reflect the formative ethos of legal pluralism that operated in the nation s earliest years. From an ideological standpoint, this means that we must reexamine several long-held commitments. One is to legal centralism, the view that the nation-state and its institutions are the only legitimate sources of law. Another is to liberalism, the dominant political philosophy that undergirds our democratic structures and situates the individual, not the group or a collective, as the bedrock moral unit of society. From a constitutional standpoint, establishing more robust expressions of tribal sovereignty will require that we take seriously the concerns of citizens, tribal and non-tribal alike, who demand that tribal governments operate consistently with basic constitutional values. From an institutional standpoint, these efforts will require a new, flexible and adaptable institutional architecture that is better suited to accommodating these competing interests. Argued with grace, humanity, and a peerless scholarly eye, Shadow Nations is a clarion call for a true and consequential rethinking of the legal and political relationship between Indigenous tribes and the United States government. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199735860

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