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Theses Master's

Conceptualizing Free, Prior and Informed Consent: Interpreting Interpretations of FPIC

Petkar, Ishita

Over the last decade, the Indigenous right to free, prior and informed consent has become highly popularized within the private sector as a method of engaging Indigenous communities adversely affected by projects. Manifesting in various guidelines, “how to do” notes, and policies, free, prior and informed consent has found a new incarnation and application through the acronym ‘FPIC’. However, despite this proliferation of materials, there continues to be a marked failure to implement FPIC successfully worldwide. This thesis begins to question this shortfall, by offering the idea that the problems encountered at the practical level of operationalization are symptomatic of greater discords evident on the conceptual level of FPIC. By conducting literary close-readings on eight texts purported to be influential guidelines on implementing FPIC, this paper exposes the different understandings of free, prior and informed consent held by various stakeholders, including the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, industry standard-setting bodies, international financial institutions, and Indigenous organizations. Dialoguing these interpretations, this thesis reveals that as the meeting place of two underlying perspectives or worldviews, FPIC continuously fails to be sufficiently implemented due to the multiple understandings of its nature, its goal, and the way in which it functions.

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More Information

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Stamatopoulou, Elsa
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
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