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SovereigntyFrontiers of Possibility$
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Julie Evans, Ann Genovese, Alexander Reilly, and Patrick Wolfe

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835637

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835637.001.0001

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Submerged Sovereignty

Submerged Sovereignty

Native Title within a History of Incorporation

Chapter:
(p.60) 4 Submerged Sovereignty
Source:
Sovereignty
Author(s):

Ben Silverstein

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824835637.003.0004

This chapter examines the advent of native title in Australia. In the Australian settler colony, native title figures in the liberal imagination as a moment where some sort of hybridization of sovereignty could be achieved. However, once historicized in this context, it signifies not a pluralistic sharing of lawmaking power but an incorporation of Indigenous sovereignties, which limits their possibilities by transforming them into a supplement to the decentered settler sovereignty that is destabilized by the acknowledgment of precolonial—and continuing—Indigenous communities. As such a supplement, it therefore suppresses the danger of the end of terra nullius, reaffirming the force of settler law through reburying Indigenous sovereignties at its foundation.

Keywords:   native title, Australian settler colony, Indigenous sovereignties, settler sovereignty, Indigenous communities, terra nullius, settler law

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