Inalienable Properties

The Political Economy of Indigenous Land Reform

Jamie Baxter

Inalienable Properties

Jamie Baxter

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

200 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $35.95 ISBN: 9780774863438 Will Publish February 2021 For sale in USA only
Cloth $80.00 ISBN: 9780774863421 Published July 2020 For sale in USA only
As many Indigenous communities return to self-governance and self-determination, they are taking their own approaches to property rights and community development. Why did the Nisga’a Nation introduce property rights that can be traded in the market? And how have communities such as the Membertou First Nation sustained control over their lands in the face of economic pressures for saleable rights? This book explores the contrasting approaches to land rights illustrated by four Indigenous communities in Canada – the Westbank, Membertou, Nisga’a, and James Bay Cree Nations.
Jamie Baxter traces how local leaders set the course of land rights and development in their communities during formative periods of legal and economic upheaval. Drawing on new research about institutional change in organizational settings such as business firms and labour unions, Baxter uses game theory to explore how community leaders have sustained inalienable land rights without turning to either persuasion or coercive force – the two levers of power normally associated with political leadership.
Inalienable Properties challenges the view liberalized land markets are the inevitable result of legal and economic change. It shows how inalienability can result from intentional choices and is linked to structures of decision-making that have long-lasting consequences for communities.
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