Expertise and “Soft” Disempowerment

Laura Evans

in Power from Powerlessness

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199742745
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895052 | DOI:
Expertise and “Soft” Disempowerment

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This chapter considers tribal-local relations and illustrates the importance of expertise for tribes' victories in local politics. The chapter also exposes the interplay of race, land, and power in tribes’ external relations. These findings illustrate important limitations: in certain contexts with pronounced racial hostility, other actors may wage high-cost fights than undermine—but do not entirely erase—expertise-based strategies. To evaluate expertise's effects in local politics, the chapter examines tribes with varying governments and with varying economies that improve capacities to house, sustain, and reproduce expertise. The chapter finds that tribes’ political strategies hinge on expert calculations: they are extremely selective about county relations and they pick the winning issues.

Keywords: American Indians; tribal governments; institutionalization; economy; racial hostility; expertise; local politics

Chapter.  13963 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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