Christopher L. Carter.
The Causes and Consequences of Indigenous Territorial Authority.
When are indigenous groups granted political authority over the lands they occupy?
And how does receiving this concession from central states affect long-term political
representation and welfare outcomes? Scholars in political science and related disciplines
have often highlighted the primacy of indigenous demands for indigenous territorial authority---here
defined as the legal right of native populations to exercise control over a geographically delimited
space, or "territory." Yet, why do states offer this authority, why do indigenous groups sometimes
reject it---which they do---and what are the long-term effects of these extensions of authority for
collective action and welfare? I theorize how the goals and motivations around resource extraction shape
the decision of the central state to offer territorial authority as well as the choice by indigenous
groups to resist or embrace it. Under divided extraction---where private elites extract beyond the
preferences of the central government due to ideological or political differences---both the central
state and indigenous groups have an incentive to bolster territorial authority. Under unified
extraction---where private actors extract in a manner consistent with the central government's
preferences---central states either undermine territorial authority or impose a weak form of
territorial authority that is subsequently resisted by indigenous groups. I then argue that
the conditions that give rise to territorial authority also shape its political and social effects.
Under divided extraction, the central state offers a "consolidated" form of territorial authority
that maximizes indigenous groups' collective action capacity, which can then be mobilized to elect
indigenous politicians and obtain public goods. Under unified extraction, however, governments create
a "fragmented" form of territorial authority, which reduces indigenous groups' collective action
capacity, reducing their political representation and access to public benefits. Empirically, I
adopt a multi-method approach that draws on archival data, historical natural experiments, a robust
interdisciplinary literature on indigenous politics, original surveys and experiments, extensive
fieldwork in indigenous communities, and over one hundred interviews with mayors, bureaucrats, and
Funded by: US Department of Education, UC Berkeley Institute for International Studies John L. Simpson Memorial Grant,
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Mexus, National Science Foundation
Implementing partner: IPA