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Presenter Ulf Mörkenstam (Professor, Political Science, Stockholm University)


On an international level, we have the last decades witnessed a remarkable development of indigenous rights, mainly as a result of indigenous peoples' political struggle and mobilisation on a local, national and international level. Paramount in this context is the third article of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) recognising indigenous peoples as peoples with a right to self-determination. The Nordic countries had a common response to rights-claims from their indigenous people, the Sámi, in establishing representative institutions-Sámediggis (Sámi Parliaments in Northern Sámi)-consisting of popularly elected Sámi representatives. Today, the Sámediggis are considered to be the main vehicles to safeguard Sámi self-determination. What the right to self-determination implies in political practice-i.e. for domestic constitutional, legal and institutional reforms-is however still most controversial. How Sámi self-determination ought to be implemented in the Nordic countries has also been recurrently debated, and especially the role of the Sámediggis.

How do indigenous peoples perceive of the right to self-determination

There are, however, few systematic studies analysing how persons belonging to indigenous peoples perceive of the right to self-determination: On what matters are self-determination of importance to indigenous persons? Are there differences between persons identifying with the same indigenous group? And how are indigenous persons' understanding of self-determination related to international law and contemporary national policies? The aim of this chapter is to analyse Sámi self-determination from the perspective of the Sámi electorate in Sweden based on data from the second Swedish Sámi Election Study in 2017.

If you're interested in particpating, please contact Johan Brännmark