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  7. The Institutional Design of the Swedish Sámi Parliament

The Institutional Design of the Swedish Sámi Parliament

Indigenous Rights to Self-determination: The Institutional Design and Policy Process of the Swedish Sámi Parliament.

Conducted by Ulf Mörkenstam, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

In the contemporary political debate the Swedish Sami Parliament (Sametinget) is considered to be the main body to ensure Sami self-determination. Ever since its inauguration, however, the institutional design of the parliament has been severely criticised by the parliament itself, Sami organisations and NGO’s for not meeting the requirements of the right to self-determination in international law. However, there is no extensive research conducted on if and how the Sami Parliament actually works to safeguard the publicly recognised Sami right to self-determination. The purpose of this project is to analyse the capacity of the Sami Parliament to safeguard the Sami right to self-determination.

The project has three parts: (i) a comparative analysis of various institutional arrangements to safeguard indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination; (ii) an analysis of the policy process within the Sami Parliament in its role as representative body of the Sami people; (iii) a normative analysis, evaluating the institutional design of the Parliament in relation to the meaning of the concept of self-determination in international law and contemporary political theory. What are the possibilities of the Sami Parliament to initiate political issues and to influence the actual outcome on a national level? To what extent does the Swedish state’s interpretation of the right to self-determination differ from the interpretation in other states, and from international law and political theory?

 

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