Frank Cass, 2000
Recent years have seen an increased interest in the variety of cultures co-existing within one state, and a growing acknowledgement of the values ensconced in pluralistic social structures. This book examines the manner in which indigenous people can function in modern states, preserving their traditional customs, while simultaneously adapting aspects of their culture to the challenges posed by modern life. Whereas it was formerly assumed that these tribal frameworks were doomed to extinction, and some states even encouraged such a process, there has been a revival in their vitality, linked to a recognition of their rights.
This book offers a comprehensive survey of various aspects of tribal life and focuses on political issues, such as the meaning of sovereignty, legal issues dealing with the role of custom, and social issues concerned with sustaining communal life.
Recent judicial decisions are analyzed as a reflection of the far-reaching changes that have taken place, in a process that has seen the former disregard of basic rights of indigenous people gradually replaced by an awareness of the injustices perpetrated in the past, and a willingness to seek to redress them. The comparison of different English-speaking countries provides a fascinating account of interwoven developments.