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International Politics and Indigenous Peoples: Critical Reflections on Power Relations

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About this event

Over the past decades, international politics has increasingly paid attention to Indigenous peoples and their concerns. For example, in the United Nations and the Arctic Council, Indigenous peoples have been included in political deliberations and even new structures have been created to facilitate their participation. In the midst of global environmental challenges, Indigenous peoples and their knowledge have been recognised as playing a particularly important role. All in all, it appears that the previous colonial and excluding practices of international politics have made way to a more welcoming and progressive politics.  

In our joint research, we have critically investigated the developments in the relations between international politics and Indigenous peoples (e.g., Lindroth and Sinevaara-Niskanen 2013; 2018; 2019; 2022). Drawing on discussions of resilience, recognition and hope, among others, we have come to problematise the contemporary setup of these relations and their alleged progressiveness.

In this talk by Marjo Lindroth and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, with a response by Eda Ayaydin, the exercise of power in international politics will be discussed. To what extent do recognition and inclusive practices mask lingering colonial mentalities and what kinds of positions are, in fact, afforded to Indigenous peoples?

About the Speakers

Marjo Lindroth and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen work at the University of Lapland, Finland. In their joint work, they have studied contemporary colonialism and transformations of power. Together, they have published two scientific monographs: The Colonial Politics of Hope: Critical Junctures of Indigenous-State Relations (Routledge, 2022) and Global Politics and its Violent Care for Indigeneity: Sequels to Colonialism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

Eda Ayaydin is a teaching fellow at the University of London Institute in Paris as of 2022. Previously, she worked as an assistant professor at Bordeaux Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po Bordeaux) for 3 years. After completing the Arctic Studies Master's program at Paris-Saclay University, Ayaydin continued her doctoral studies at the CEARC laboratory, which conducts research on the Arctic region at the University Paris-Saclay.

Eda also teaches “Arctic Governance” and “Arctic Geopolitics” courses in the Arctic Studies Master’s Program at the University of Paris-Saclay. She was a visiting researcher at Finland's Arctic Center in Rovaniemi and at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. Her specific research interests are Arctic geopolitics, Norwegian-Russian cooperation in the Arctic and Indigenous politics. Eda Ayaydin published in English, French and Turkish on Arctic geopolitics, governance and the political integration and representation of Sami people.