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Indiana University

Shane Day


Public Policy

Exam and Minor Fields:

Major: Public Policy, International Relations, Environmental Policy

Special Skills and/or Knowledge Base:

I am trained in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, and am committed to integrated multi-method research. I have a particular interest in cross-sectional time series (aka panel data) modeling, and Q methodology. I have college-level foreign language training in German, Spanish, and Swedish, with basic proficiency in each.

Dissertation Title:

Indigenous Groups as Quasi-State Actors in International Natural Resource Governance

Dissertation Committee:

  • Elinor Ostrom (chair)
  • Matthew Auer
  • Michael McGinnis
  • Lauren Morris-MacLean

Current Dissertation Progress and Expected Defense Date:

Progress: Currently conducting interviewing and wrapping up archival research.
Expected Defense Date: May or June of 2010

Dissertation Abstract:

Why do some indigenous groups, but not others, enjoy participatory authority within international natural resource management institutions? How does such participation come about, especially in light of the fact that membership in these institutions is generally considered as being exclusively held by nation-states? Where it exists, does participation by indigenous groups hinder the ability of these institutions to reach consensus on key decisions? Furthermore, where indigenous groups do not enjoy full participation, do these institutions nonetheless actively maintain meaningful consultation with these groups? If so, why do they? Lastly, does such participation strengthen efforts at ensuring the sustainability of the resources in question? Answering these questions requires a critical assessment of the concept of indigenous sovereignty and the changing environment of international law concerning indigenous groups.

This dissertation examines three cases, each characterized by differing levels of formal participatory authority within the respective institutions: the experience of the Makah in obtaining limited whaling rights under the International Whaling Commission, Canadian tribes’ activities and formal representation in the Pacific Salmon Commission, and Washington State tribes’ participation in the Pacific Salmon Commission. Through the use of process tracing and formal in-depth interviewing of key stakeholders, I hope to uncover how these indigenous groups obtained special natural resource rights and/or positions of authority within the institutions in question and to examine the practical effects of such participation on policy formation. I also present a theoretical framework for comparatively examining the concept of indigenous sovereignty in order to better understand the various ways this concept is understood.