Agency in Economic Justice: Typology of Native Nation Sovereignty and Settler-Colonial Acts of Economic Aggression

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This essay expands upon the current theoretical construction of colonialism to make settler-colonial societies’ economic strategies more explicit. These strategies, which I term economic violence and economic hegemony, have been used by US federal and state governments to subvert the inherent sovereignty of Native Nations in order to access their resources. This essay also proposes and illustrates six categories of economic hegemony–debt creation, underfunding, mismanagement of funds and resources, blackmail, taxation jurisdiction, and regulation–to clarify the types of tools that settler-colonial states, like the United States, have available to accomplish their goals. Significantly, however, the illustrative examples also foreground Native Nations’ agency in countering and even anticipating US federal and state governments’ aggressions across time and geographies. Incorporation of these strategies into political and economic discourse leads to a more precise analysis of settler-colonial incursions while emphasizing the many ways in which Native Nations exert their sovereignty to forward economic justice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lewis, C

Published Date

  • January 1, 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 232 - 252

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-929X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1369-801X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/1369801X.2022.2080570

Citation Source

  • Scopus