"To See What State We Are In": First Years of the Greenland Self-Government Act and the Pursuit of Inuit Sovereignty

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This article examines the implementation of Greenland's self-government (commonly referred to as self-rule) through an analysis of the Greenland government in the first four years of the Greenland Self-Government Act (SGA). Greenland and its government are numerically dominated by the Inuit, one of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. The article begins with an overview of Greenland as a country and its political development, from a Danish colony to the 2009 Greenland SGA. After explaining Greenland's governance structure and the role of Inuit governance in Greenland's parliamentary system, it analyses the implementation process of the self-government agreement. It is argued that the SGA with its main focus on modern nation-building within the framework of Western institutionalism constitutes a unique means of implementing indigenous self-government. It revisits the norm of the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination understood primarily as a collective human right and sets a precedent within the framework of indigenous rights in international law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-195
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed