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Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

30. Frederick Douglass  

Kiara Gilbert and Karen Salt

This chapter looks at the works of Black American abolitionist Frederick Douglass. It argues that Douglass’ political thinking was shaped by his experiences as an enslaved, fugitive, and freed person. Douglass fought for the emancipation of all enslaved peoples across the USA as he believed all humans were born with a right to self-determination and freedom from enslavement. Additionally, Douglass believed slavery to be a deep violation of a person’s humanity. The chapter explains that Douglass’ abolitionism was grounded in natural rights theory. It looks at the legacy of the influential political theory on liberty that Douglass left behind. This was despite his complicated and often contradictory relationship to early women’s rights movements and his struggles to acknowledge the claims of Indigenous people.


Cover Contemporary Security Studies

8. Critical Security Studies II —Narratives of Security: Other Stories, Other Actors  

J. Marshall Beier

Taking its main cues from Critical Security Studies, this chapter asks some unconventional questions about somewhat unconventional subjects for a field that has traditionally been more inclined to centre states in its investigations. In so doing, it brings to light the concealed political commitments that are a part of any attempt to theorize security and which fix arbitrary limits on whom and what gets foregrounded in the security stories told. Placing particular emphasis on recovering agency and political subjecthood, one can see the crucial part played by other actors in both the everyday practices of security and it has come to be defined. One can better appreciate both the problems and promise of one’s own roles in producing security—and insecurity—in the ways it is approached, as students and scholars.


Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

19. Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights  

Paul Havemann

This chapter examines issues surrounding the human rights of Indigenous peoples. The conceptual framework for this chapter is informed by three broad, interrelated, and interdependent types of human rights: the right to existence, the right to self-determination, and individual human rights. After describing who Indigenous peoples are according to international law, the chapter considers the centuries of ambivalence about the recognition of Indigenous peoples. It then discusses the United Nations's establishment of a regime for Indigenous group rights and presents a case study of the impact of climate change on Indigenous peoples. It concludes with a reflection on the possibility of accommodating Indigenous peoples' self-determination with state sovereignty.