Between Consenting Peoples
280 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2011
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Release Date:28 Oct 2010
Release Date:28 Oct 2010

Between Consenting Peoples

Political Community and the Meaning of Consent

UBC Press

Consent has long been used to establish the legitimacy of society. But when one asks – who consented? how? to what type of community? – consent becomes very elusive, more myth than reality. This is particularly true when the spotlight is on the relationship between indigenous and nonindigenous peoples.

In this volume, leading and emerging scholars in legal and political theory explore the various meanings that have been attached to consent as the foundation for political community and law, especially in indigenous contexts. From explorations of specific historical examples – such as consent in Gitksan society in the early years of the fur trade or relations between indigenous and nonindigenous Australians in the 1950s and 1970s – to a reconsideration of consent in political and legal theory, the authors examine the language of consent and how it has ordered indigenous societies and shaped their relationships with governments.

Between Consenting Peoples explores the kind of consent – the kind of attachment – that might ground political community and establish a fair relationship between indigenous and nonindigenous peoples. In doing so, it draws perspectives from indigenous relations into the heart of political theory.

This book will appeal to students and scholars of political theory, law, history, and Native studies and anyone concerned with the conditions of legitimate governance.

This book weaves together themes of political and legal philosophy and indigenous studies that are not often considered together ... By doing so, it successfully contributes to an ongoing and widening debate about the foundations of the state in postcolonial settings. Mark Walters, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University

Jeremy Webber holds the Canada Research Chair in Law and Society at the University of Victoria and is a Trudeau Fellow. Colin M. Macleod is an associate professor of law and philosophy at the University of Victoria.

Contributors: Andrée Boisselle, David Dyzenhaus, Duncan Ivison, Margaret Moore, Val Napoleon, Janna Promislow, Tim Rowse, James Tully


1 The Meanings of Consent / Jeremy Webber

Part 1: The Challenges of Consent in Indigenous Contexts

2 Living Together: Gitksan Legal Reasoning as a Foundation for Consent / Val Napoleon

3 “Thou Wilt Not Die of Hunger ... for I Bring Thee Merchandise”: Consent, Intersocietal Normativity, and the Exchange of Food at York Factory, 1682-1763 / Janna Promislow

4 The Complexity of the Object of Consent: Some Australian Stories / Tim Rowse

Part 2: Reconceiving Consent in Political and Legal Philosophy

5 Indigenous Peoples and Political Legitimacy / Margaret Moore

6 Consent, Legitimacy, and the Foundation of Political and Legal Authority / David Dyzenhaus

7 Consent or Contestation? / Duncan Ivison

8 Beyond Consent and Disagreement: Why Law’s Authority is Not Just about Will / Andrée Boisselle

Concluding Reflections

9 Consent, Hegemony, and Dissent in Treaty Negotiations / James Tully


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