By Paul Keal
Paul Keal examines the historic function of foreign legislations and political concept in justifying the dispossession of indigenous peoples as a part of the growth of foreign society. ironically, he argues, legislation and political conception can now shape the root of the restoration of indigenous rights. Arguing for the popularity of indigenous peoples as "peoples" with the proper of self-determination in constitutional and foreign legislations, Keal questions the ethical legitimacy of foreign society and examines ideas of collective guilt and accountability.
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Extra resources for European Conquest and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Moral Backwardness of International Society
Unless states do recognise each other as legitimate and sovereign actors there can be no basis for agreement over the practices that are to guide their mutual relations. ‘It would be impossible to have a society of sovereign states unless each state, while claiming sovereignty for itself, 23 Martin Shaw, Global Society and International Relations (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994), p. 119. ), The Expansion of International Society. 26 More than this, in contemporary world politics the domestic arrangements of states are increasingly important in determining which states are regarded as legitimate.
The layout of the book Chapter 1 introduces a number of themes and concepts essential to the argument. It first discusses the nature of international society, the place of Hugo Grotius in its intellectual origins, and the English School and the rationalist tradition, which have been the main bearers of the idea. It argues that although international society initially included individuals, it became an exclusive society of states. Also, that its expansion from Europe cannot be separated from dispossession, genocide and the destruction of cultural identity.
His reason for giving it this name derives from his identification of Hugo Grotius as a seminal thinker about international society, and consequently as a foundational figure of rationalism. In Grotius’ writings natural law is an essential element and the content of that law is known by the use of right reason. It represents divine law but is discoverable by rational human beings. ‘Reason’, Wight explained, ‘is a reflection of the divine light in us: “Ratio est radius divini luminus”. ’2 To call a tradition of thinking about international relations ‘rationalist’ was then to associate it with the element of reason 2 Wight, International Theory, p.
European Conquest and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Moral Backwardness of International Society by Paul Keal