Shifting Responsibilities and Shifting Terrains : State Responsibility, Corporate Social Responsibility and Indigenous Claims

University dissertation from Stockholm : Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis

Abstract: Using case studies from Australia, Sweden and Finland, and also drawing on examples from parts of Asia, including Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Thailand, the thesis explores how state and market actors respond to Indigenous claims and how Indigenous claims are themselves reconstituted through those particular responses. While the duty of protecting Indigenous rights might nominally fall upon the state, we are increasingly witness to the enfolding of market actors and market rationalities in debates concerning Indigenous claims. The research contained in the thesis highlights how a practice of 'passing the buck', or passing of responsibility onto others, is constituted through both market and government relations whereby responsibility for addressing Indigenous claims is shifted from states to corporations, from corporations to states, and from states back to Indigenous peoples themselves. The thesis consists of four articles. Article 1, titled 'Obliging Indigenous Citizens: Shared Responsibility Agreements in Australian Aboriginal Communities' provides a critique of the governmental provision of services to remote Australian Aboriginal communities through quasi-market arrangements. Article 2, titled 'Corporate Social Responsibility, Supply-chains and Saami Claims: Tracing the Political in the Finnish Forestry Industry' explores conflicts over state logging in Saami territories and the construction of the state/market divide in CSR debates over the rights of Indigenous peoples. Article 3, titled 'NGO Campaigns and Banks: Constituting Risk and Uncertainty' studies the negotiated and contested boundaries of markets through debates over the governance of social and environmental risks in the investment banking sector. Article 4, titled 'The Last Frontier? Windpower developments on traditional Saami lands' considers how colonial rationalities constituting the state-Saami relationship are reproduced in new debates over windpower developments in Saami mountain areas.

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