Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 7)

Independence of thought and action is an aspiration that burns deep in communities and citizens around the world. It is pursued and expressed in various ways. As shown above by the declaration from the United Nations, self-determination of a group is generally taken to mean the right and capacity to authorize its own political bearing without force or compulsion. It applies to small and large nations alike and arose particularly as a demand following World War I and the desire by ordinary people everywhere to be rid of foreign expansion and aggression. For some, the notion of representative democracy characterizes freedom’s greatest hope, where free and open elections are held and a legislature of the few makes decisions for the many. Both progressive and conservative critics can claim that it is difficult for anyone to truly represent anyone else. Devolving power to smaller groupings such as villages, communes or neighbourhoods may locate decision-making closer to those affected by the decisions. Fourth World Indigenous peoples have a difficult task in determining their relationship with the settler state and to what extent aspects of power should be separated or shared.


Explosive Hunt Defend Stake Metaphor 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria UniversityAustralia

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