Searching for Principle: Reconciling Tribal Membership and Liberal Values

20 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2018

See all articles by Sam Bookman

Sam Bookman

Harvard University, Law School, Students

Date Written: October 17, 2018

Abstract

Many Indigenous groups, including iwi (Māori tribal groups), determine membership based solely on descent. Descent-based membership criteria are seen as illiberal, even within a liberal multicultural framework that accommodates minority cultural groups. Current attempts to justify descent-based membership rely more on pragmatic than theoretical justifications. In the context of iwi, an empirical study of tikanga Māori (Indigenous law) demonstrates that descent-based membership criteria enhance Māori autonomy. Liberalism should recognize descent-based membership requirements as inherently liberal when they promote autonomy.

Keywords: Legal theory, indigeneity and law, New Zealand law, Maori law

Suggested Citation

Bookman, Sam, Searching for Principle: Reconciling Tribal Membership and Liberal Values (October 17, 2018). Indigenous Law Journal, Vol. 16, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3299576

Sam Bookman (Contact Author)

Harvard University, Law School, Students ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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