sovereign/Australian being on an epistemological formulation of the terms of access to whiteness’.
As typical expressions of colonial state bad faith, the further intricacies of this mirror-state psychology need not be pursued here. The less travelled path concerns the way in which advocates of Aboriginalsovereignty recognition deploy the same racist tactics, with the result that within their own narratives of dispossession and repossession an entire class of ancestors fails to
subjects not citizens) but an ‘aboriginalsovereignty-myth: the ‘Crown-in-Parliament and the (literally) absolute authority of the latter’. 8 The 1970s ‘crisis’ of the British nation-state is then merely a reflection of its bodged foundation: the ‘break-up’ is the ultimate political consequence of the Acts of Union.
The ‘acceleration’ in the ‘decline-spiral’ is caused by what Nairn calls ‘the disintegration of Labourism’. 9 Like other analysts of post-war Britain, Nairn posits an initial ‘post-World War II consensus’, though he differs from
seek land and citizenship rights. But they also focused on Aboriginal self-government, suggesting that claims made under the sign of citizenship were rooted in the continuing practice of Aboriginalsovereignties. Indigeneity was represented, in other words, as the source of Aboriginal people's entitlement to rights. These were not simply, as Tony Austin has suggested, assimilationist organisations: the ‘ultimate object’ of the League was ‘the conservation of special features of the Aboriginals culture and the removal of all hardships Political, social or economic
contradictory practice of Aboriginalsovereignty, animating increasingly intensified efforts to pursue resolution, to fabricate an end to the story. 35 But defeat was embedded in this march. Veracini has noted that settler colonial narratives promise an end to the story, the supersession of Aboriginal society that would never come, what Strakosch and Macoun term a ‘vanishing endpoint’. 36 The eternal deferral of the end of the story ought not to distract from the productive utility of its promise and anticipation.
engagement between settlers and Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.
Settlers’ varied responses signify continuing disagreement over the colonial forms found and practised in the Northern Territory. The exterminatory force of a punitive mission, the conciliatory coercion of a missionary expedition, and the penetrating scientific gaze of the anthropological fieldworker would each contain Aboriginalsovereignties, but in crucially different ways. Each corresponded to a different mode of colonial government, and it is both significant and
Indigenous peoples and the development of international law
1979 case of Coe v Commonwealth, 53
AJLR, 403. See also H. Reynolds, AboriginalSovereignty (Sydney, Allen & Unwin,
Indigenous peoples in international law
Europeans. With Sepúlveda, the negation of indigenous authority was
radical, and linked to an assault on the rationality of indigenous societies.
In the case of the doctrine of terra nullius, the mismatch between European
conceptions of governance and non-European social, cultural and political
organisation was extreme. Metaphors to describe the indigenous – children,
natural slaves – continue to