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Power from PowerlessnessTribal Governments, Institutional Niches, and American Federalism$
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Laura Evans

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199742745

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199742745.001.0001

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Expertise and “Soft” Disempowerment

Expertise and “Soft” Disempowerment

Race, Land, and Local Power in American Indian Politics

Chapter:
(p.125) 5 Expertise and “Soft” Disempowerment
Source:
Power from Powerlessness
Author(s):

Laura Evans (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199742745.003.0005

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

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