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Grounding the concept and practice of accountability: A case study with Ngāi Tahu

Scobie, Matthew (2019) Grounding the concept and practice of accountability: A case study with Ngāi Tahu. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the role of accountability within Ngāi Tahu, an Indigenous kinship grouping pursuing self-determination in a settler-colonial context. The thesis presents a theory of grounded accountability informed by the concepts of duality, dialogics and (d)evolution. This theory is used to interpret the relationships between Ngāi Tahu, a kinship grouping with interdependent families, clans and councils, and Te Rūnanga Group, the organisation established to manage collective settlement assets. Two research questions are addressed. The first is in what ways and why is accountability understood and exercised within Ngāi Tahu? Do these constrain or enable grounded accountability? The second is how do duality, dialogics and (d)evolution enable grounded accountability and is it possible in this context? An ethnography-informed case study within a decolonising methodological framework is used to explore these questions. In answer to the first question, findings suggest that Ngāi Tahu beliefs articulate a situated form of accountability grounded in mutual and intergenerational obligations between people and land through whakapapa (a structured genealogical relationship between all things) and mana (authority/prestige). While Te Rūnanga Group is sometimes able to facilitate this grounded accountability, scale, temporal and spatial dimensions can at times constrain grounded relationships. In answer to the second question, duality, dialogics and (d)evolution are important for the realisation of grounded accountability in a contemporary context. Duality embraces old ways and new means, dialogics restores the people seeking change as agents of their own change and (d)evolution recognises authority from the ground below. Examples from reform-driven projects, and housing and land development are used to illustrate this potential. These findings extend existing literature on Indigenous Peoples and accountability.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Matthew Scobie
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2019 08:41
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2019 08:41
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24237

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