Funding from the Academy of Finland for studying power, rights and indigeneity


The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Culture and Society has granted 480.000 euros funding for a research project that examines changes in the ways in which power is exercised in the context of indigenous issues. The project is led by Julian Reid, Professor of International Relations, and it employs post-doctoral researchers Marjo Lindroth, Arctic Centre, and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, Gender Studies.

The research project "Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope" studies questions of biopolitics, indigeneity and rights. To the unaided eye it might seem that political power is being redistributed and that indigenous peoples are today empowered in ways they were not in the past. Indigeneity in Waiting investigates the nature of this alleged development.

"The promise of empowerment engenders new forms of power that operates specifically through hope and other affective registers", the researchers in the project claim.

"The international recognition of indigenous peoples has raised hopes for increased rights nationally as well. In many cases, however, the realization of these hopes is yet to come."

The project will produce both new empirical knowledge on the ways in which indigeneity is governed globally and new conceptual openings for studying the operation of power. Questions of rights, hope, power and indigeneity will be studied in three contexts that represent different parts of the world and different stages of ‘progress’ in indigenous issues: Australia, Finland and Greenland. The focus in Australia will be on the proposed recognition of indigenous peoples in the country’s constitution; on the ratification debate of the ILO 169 Convention in Finland; and on the envisioned full independence of Greenland.

The four year funding from the Finnish Academy will start in September 2016.

Contact information:

Professor Julian Reid, julian.reid (at)
Postdoctoral Researcher Marjo Lindroth, marjo.lindroth (at)
Postdoctoral Researcher Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, heidi.sinevaara-niskanen (at)

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