The Rise of Indigenous (Pluri-)Nationalism: The Case of the Sámi People

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
148 Downloads (Pure)


Indigenous peoples have found the nationalist language of peoples’ inherent right to self-determination helpful in articulating their political demands. Gerald Taiaiake Alfred’s model of indigenous nationalism explains the emergence of this form of indigenous self-assertion as a reaction to settler-colonial incursions. However, it cannot account for the timing of its recent successes in unsettling the status quo of indigenous–settler-state relations. This article addresses this limitation by incorporating Michael Keating’s concept of post-sovereignty, which highlights the supranational plane constraining states’ freedom of action, while providing indigenous peoples with laws and norms above state level to appeal to. Additionally, Keating’s concept of plurinationalism is drawn upon to capture the emerging reconfiguration of indigenous–settler-state relations. This combined conceptual framework is used to illuminate the Sámi people’s relations to the Nordic states as expressive of emergent indigenous nationalism, formed in
reaction to settler-colonialism and enabled by international norms, laws and global indigenous peoples’ networks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1177/0038038520943105
Pages (from-to)1141–1158
Number of pages17
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020


  • decoloniality
  • indigenous peoples
  • nationalism
  • plurinational
  • post-sovereign
  • Sámi people


Dive into the research topics of 'The Rise of Indigenous (Pluri-)Nationalism: The Case of the Sámi People'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this