The impact of the Modern Development Agenda on the indigenous peoples’ rights in Botswana: The case of the San

Moeti, Onthatile Olerile (2024) The impact of the Modern Development Agenda on the indigenous peoples’ rights in Botswana: The case of the San. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis critically probes into the impact of the Modern Development Agenda (MDA) on the rights of the San in Botswana. For purposes of this thesis, the MDA is an international law construct that presents itself as a globalised project that seek to standardise the development of different societies. The thesis asserts that the MDA is geared towards uniformising the social, economic, political, and legal aspects of the said societies. The MDA is inherently imposing and does not take cognisance of the subjects’ prevailing values, beliefs, aspirations, and institutions. Building on the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) and using socio-legal and desktop approaches, the thesis argues that there exists ample evidence that international law has deployed the MDA as a space of hope to which nation states must aspire to attain at whatever cost. The thesis is particularly interested in how the MDA presents itself as a space for advancement, social improvement, inclusion, consultation, success yet in fact subjects of developmental policies like Indigenous Peoples attest only to its destructive nature. The San’s experiences are used to demonstrate that the standardised nature of MDA is problematic for Indigenous Peoples. The MDA diminishes the indigenous identity, disintegrate communities while dismantling social safety nets, erase indigenous way of life, lifestyle and remove Indigenous Peoples from their ancestral land, replacing their livelihood amongst others. Thus, the adverse effects of the MDA on the rights of the San are more pronounced as illustrated by the interview findings. The irony however is that, in part, the answer in resolving the discrimination, dispossession and marginalisation occasioned by the MDA to the San lies within international law. Through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), international law provides the cardinal principles on the development of Indigenous Peoples. These principles are intended to mitigate the pernicious effects of the MDA on Indigenous Peoples. Notable aspects of the UNDRIP protects Indigenous Peoples land, territories, resources, institutions, cultural practices, livelihood, and values amongst other things. Indigeneity is a criterion for benefiting from the rights provided for in the UNDRIP and it is contentious so much that the UNDRIP itself could not set the parameters of what indigeneity entails. Consequently, in practice, Indigenous Peoples are not able to tap into the emancipatory aspirations of the UNDRIP as its implementation is proving complex. The politics and contestations of indigeneity in the context of Botswana set an example of what other Indigenous Peoples of the world may be confronted with. The activism strategies employed by the San such as litigation are used to illustrate ways in which Indigenous Peoples can navigate the changing landscape of rights and MDA in a globalising world.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Funding: Eleanor Emery PhD Scholarship.
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Peevers, Dr. Charlie and Jokubauskaite, Dr. Giedre
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84354
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2024 14:27
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 14:28
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84354

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