Power from Powerlessness: Tribal Governments, Institutional Niches, and American Federalism by Laura E. EvansPower from Powerlessness: Tribal Governments, Institutional Niches, and American Federalism by Laura E. Evans

Power from Powerlessness: Tribal Governments, Institutional Niches, and American Federalism

byLaura E. Evans

Hardcover | May 6, 2011

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As American Indian tribes seek to overcome centuries of political and social marginalization, they face daunting obstacles. The successes of some tribal casinos have lured many outside observers into thinking that gambling revenue alone can somehow mend the devastation of culture, community,natural resources, and sacred spaces. The reality is quite different. Most tribal officials operate with meager resources and serve impoverished communities with stark political disadvantages. Yet we find examples of Indian tribes persuading states, localities, and the federal government to pursuepolicy change that addresses important tribal concerns. How is it that Indian tribes sometimes succeed against very dim prospects? In Power from Powerlessness, Laura Evans looks at the successful policy interventions by a range of American Indian tribal governments and explains how disadvantaged groups can exploit niches in the institutional framework of American federalism to obtain unlikely victories. Tribes have also beenadept at building productive relationships with governmental authorities at all levels. Admittedly, many of the tribes' victories are small when viewed on their own: reaching cooperative agreements on trash collection with municipalities and successfully challenging other localities for more controlover fisheries and waterway management. However, Evans shows that in combination, their victories are impressive-particularly when considering that the poverty rate among American Indians on reservations is 39 percent. Not simply a book about American Indian politics, Power from Powerlessness forcesscholars of institutions and inequality to reconsider the commonly held view that the less powerful are in fact powerless.
Laura E. Evans is Assistant Professor in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.
Title:Power from Powerlessness: Tribal Governments, Institutional Niches, and American FederalismFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.51 inPublished:May 6, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019974274X

ISBN - 13:9780199742745

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Table of Contents

1. American Indian Tribal Governments' Fight for Change inside Institutions2. The Historical Evolution of American Indian Political Strategies and Background3. Quiet, Yet Ever-Constant Advocacy: How American Indian Tribal Governments Have Confronted and Changed Federal Indian Policy4. Expertise-Centered Behaviors: How Knowledge Changes Organizations and How to Know When it's There5. Expertise and "Soft" Disempowerment: Race, Land and Local Power in American Indian Politics6. Channels of Access, Frames for Persuasion: Influence of Tribal Governments in State Politics7. Forging the Future