Political Entrepreneurship in the Field of Māori Sovereignty in Aotearoa New Zealand

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Individual actors have the potential to shape political outcomes through creative use of opportunities. Political entrepreneurship identifies how such actors recognise and exploit opportunities, for personal or collective gain. The existing literature focuses on individuals operating within institutional settings, with less attention paid to other types of actors. In this article, I argue for an expansion of the political entrepreneurship framework, by considering individuals in the electoral and protest arenas. An examination of the field of Māori sovereignty, or tino rangatiratanga, in Aotearoa New Zealand allows exploration of prominent actors’ innovative strategies and practices. The findings highlight the actors’ reliance on identity in mobilising support within the community, to press claims. Broadening the application of political entrepreneurship demonstrates the roles of social, cultural and political capital in influencing outcomes, by identifying opportunities available to individuals embedded in the community and according to the context of the arena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1197
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology
Issue number4
Early online date30 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

© London School of Economics and Political Science 2018. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • Political Entrepreneur
  • Capital
  • Māori
  • Identity
  • Electoral Arena
  • Protest Arena

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