Globalization Losers – Indigenous Peoples

I have blogged before about indigenous peoples as a category of populations that are the prime victims of globalization (as they were also prime victims of colonialization and industrialization) but the difference between now and the previous eras (industrial and colonial) is that now, there is some concern about their fate and their rights. Still… Case in point, the Kuchis of Afghanistan, who were constantly in the middle of the fighting during the Soviet invasion (mostly because they are nomadic traders), and now:

As a general rule, central governments have a hard time figuring out what to do with indigenous peoples who, by definition, do not fit the model of sedentarism that is the basis of social institutions and norms.

As such, they are also more likely to bear the brunt of risk society:

The impacts of any risk are amplified when they affect a category of the population that is already socially disadvantaged, as indigenous peoples are in most societies they are a part of (voluntarily or not).

Similarly, social change tends to have more adverse effects on indigenous peoples and they are more likely to have policies enacted by central governments imposed upon them… and that is in the favorable situation in which they do not stand in the way of resource exploitation by corporate interests. However, as the potential for scarcity and resource wars increases, indigenous peoples who stand in the way are more likely to be victims of violence, as has already occurred at the very same time that their livelihood is already threatened by climate change.

2 thoughts on “Globalization Losers – Indigenous Peoples

  1. I would have to agree, indigenous peoples are one of the groups of people who will be – and already are – being impacted by globalization. Examples such as in Ecuador with Chevron and indigenous peoples, or in the Phillippines and local people and mining come to mind. They have little voice, both in the countries that occupy their land, and in the international community as seen recently by the UN Climate conference in Poznan where they were banned.

  2. A couple thoughts:

    central governments have a hard time figuring out what to do…

    I don’t think it’s so much about their not knowing what to do, as it is about their general view of indigenous people. In many respects we are viewed as obstacles to progress, as people who do not know our best interests, and who should abandon our ways of life to adopt colonial norms.

    Overall, there are hundreds of other examples where indigenous people are struggling for dear life — doing every conceivable thing to protect our cultures, enact our rights, and defend the environment.

    It’s the most urgent human rights issue in the world today – even more important than climate change, I think.

    After all, the climate isn’t going to change (drastically) for many years to come, where indigenous people throughout the world are fighting right now.

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