The Legal Universe
The Legal Universe
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  • The late Deloria, a Native American scholar of history, law, religion, and political science, and Wilkins (American Indian studies, political science, law, and American studies, U. of Minnesota) argue that a barrier inhibits minorities in achieving greater legal equality in the American political system: the inadequate development of the philosophical foundation of the American social contract, which was oriented toward a specific class of individuals and did not include divergent groups or provide guidance or protection for the masses. They claim that this contract encouraged an established elite to benefit at the expense of others and perpetuate itself. They first outline a theoretical framework and philosophical paradigm for their study and analyze the emotional dimension of the law and the limitations of the law and the social contract, while detailing the influential writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Baron de Montesquieu and how property, personhood, and citizenship have been defined and manipulated to violate minority groups and elevate the status of corporations. They then discuss how policy makers have tried to deny and suppress African Americans, Native nations, women, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, children, and the environment and animals. Annotation c2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
  • Vine Deloria Jr. was named by TIME magazine as one of the greatest religious thinkers of the twentieth century. He was a leading Native American scholar whose research, writings, and teachings on history, law, religion, and political science have not only changed the face of Indian country, but stand to influence future generations of Native and non-Native Americans alike. He has authored many acclaimed books. Vine Deloria Jr. passed away on November 13, 2005.

    Professor David E. Wilkins holds the McKnight Presidential Professorship in American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. He has adjunct appointments in Political Science, Law, and American Studies. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill in 1990. Wilkins' research and teaching interests include indigenous politics and governance, federal Indian policy and law, comparative politics, and diplomacy and constitutional development.
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