Ethnicity and Indigenous Rights

I would like to share another publication which is written in the context of my research project the negotiation of the right to food. The article is titled “The Limit of Narratives: Ethnicity and Indigenous Rights in Papua, Indonesia” published in the journal International Journal on Minority and Group Rights.

Here is the abstract:

As in many countries in Asia, the concept “indigenous” is a highly contested term in Indonesia. The government is of the opinion that Indonesia is a nation that has no indigenous peoples, or that all Indonesians are equally indigenous. The article aims to analyse the role and the paradox of using ethnic narratives, i.e. distinct social, economic or political systems, as well as language, culture and beliefs as their material and political basis, in the articulation of indigenous rights. Upon discussing a case study from Papua, Indonesia, it is observed that the use of ethnic narratives does create opportunity structures necessary for the struggles of indigenous rights. However, the salience of these endeavours is shaped by how these groups, their autonomy and marginalisation are positioned in the wider context of development, sovereignty and territoriality, which make them also dependent on the design and orientation of the state.

Call for Book Proposals, New Series Human Rights Interventions

Together with Dr. Chiseche Mibenge (Stanford), we have launched a new book series, titled Human Rights Interventions, with Palgrave MacMillan. The series joins the list International Relations and Security Studies held by Palgrave Senior Commissioning Editor Dr. Anca Pusca. And we are now accepting book proposals. Please check the instructions for submitting one here, and below is a short description of the series.

The traditional human rights frame creates a paradigm by which the duty bearer’s (state) and rights holder’s (civil society organizations) interests collide over the limits of enjoyment and enforcement. The series departs from the paradigm by centering peripheral yet powerful actors that agitate for intervention and influence in the (re)shaping of rights discourse in the midst of grave insecurities. The series privileges a call and response between theoretical inquiry and empirical investigation as contributors critically assess human rights interventions mediated by spatial, temporal, geopolitical and other dimensions. An interdisciplinary dialogue is key as the editors encourage multiple approaches such as law and society, political economy, historiography, legal ethnography, feminist security studies, and multi-media.

Development Hazard

In this article I revisit the concept of development hazard, which was the core of my doctoral research defended in 2009. Some new insights are included to argue for employing two main principles – fair distribution of benefits and popular participation, contained in the Declaration on the Right to Development. This article is published as open access in the Chinese Journal of Good Governance, and can be downloaded here.

The abstract reads:

It is common to criticize the right to development as a confusing compilation of ideas that brings into question its progressive realisation. This article concentrates precisely on this deferring situation. However, rather than scrutinizing the reasons of failures, it aims to explore a violation-based approach to the right to development in its connection as an instrument to address development hazards. The analysis focuses on two aspects of the right to development, firstly, the entitlement to fair distribution of benefits, as the basic argument to the obligation not to cause any harm in development, and secondly, the entitlement to participation, as an instrument to prevent and combat development hazards.

Food Sovereignty and the Anthropology of Food

Antropology Forum has recently published a special issue on Food Sovereignty and the Anthropology of Food: Ethnographic Approaches to Policy and Practice.

The articles collected here began as papers at a panel on Food Sovereignty organised  at the annual conference of the Australian Anthropological Society, held at the Australian National University in November 2013. The subtitle ‘local and global solutions to human survival under deteriorating climatic conditions’ stressed the relevance and indeed urgency of anthropological attention to food. While the editors saw this relationship between food policy and practice as a fallow field awaiting urgent anthropological cultivation, similar seeds were being sown across the world at the same moment.

These papers are selected because they contribute to the task of filling this gap by providing anthropologically conceived and ethnographically driven investigations of global and national processes, policies, organisations and discourses as they intersect with the lives of local communities.

The special edition consists of several countries studies, some of them are:

Third World Approach to International Law

The journal of Third World Quarterly has recently published a special issue on the Third World Approach to International Law.

Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) is a movement encompassing scholars and practitioners of international law and policy who are concerned with issues related to the Global South. The scholarly agendas associated with TWAIL are diverse, but the general theme of its interventions is to unpack and deconstruct the colonial legacies of international law and engage in efforts to decolonise the lived realities of the peoples of the Global South.

In addition to important critical analysis to theoretical fundamentals relevant to the study of the Third World, the special issue also deals with more immediate praxical questions of if, how, and when to deploy international legal argument, whether as sword, shield, or strategy of rupture. The concept is engaged in an open manner, in order to avoid an essentialised Third World identity, but to deconstruct it, so as to allow for a fuller disciplinary engagement with the plural, hybrid, ever-evolving, and contested performance of identity everywhere.

Some of the chapters worth reading are: