Indigenous peoples in the 21th Century Asia – Københavns Universitet

Convener: Peter B. Andersen, Associate Professor, Religion, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies in collaboration with IWGIA



Room 23.0.49 (building 23, ground floor, room 49)
South Campus (New KUA), University of Copenhagen
Njalsgade/Karen Blixens Gade, 2300 Copenhagen S

The United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2007 provides a recent framework for recognition of Indigenous Peoples within the national as well as the international arenas. But since indigenous populations in Asian countries are either dispersed over vast and thinly populated areas or live mixed with majority populations, even recognition where it is given may lead to very different results. The discussions are legio: even those states which have been positive towards indigenous peoples have often introduced paternalistic policies which have led to neglect of demands for the development of culture, religion and language, even where such demands are explicitly given by the legal framework.

How does one deal with tiers crossed with pillars of representation in democratic government? How far, to allow and to organize cultural, religious and linguistic diversity in modern states?

Recent development of the state has however led to devolution of power by empowering local elected and non-elected representative organs. Here NGOs come in as important organizations between the state, groups of people and citizens; and a number of states have worked to regulate the links between the state and the citizens through regulations of the NGOs.

The panel has especially invited papers on: 

  • Thematic comparative topics addressing these problems in terms of the relations between the state and civil society, governmentality, strategies for inclusion or exclusion or the like.

  • Case studies of these issues addressing indigenous peoples in various situations, that is to say in different positions due to local legislation, school policies, degrees of urbanization and ongoing changes of their trade and economic possibilities. Topics addressing the impact and prospective of ongoing changes in state organization will be specially welcomed.