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Open Access The Ties that Bind

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The Ties that Bind

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Smallness, Nonsovereignty, and Political Reform in St. Eustatius

image of New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

Whereas small island territories are known to face a variety of obstacles to democracy and good governance, it is largely unclear if a nonsovereign relationship with a larger metropolitan country can alleviate these challenges, and which constitutional status provides the best results in this regard. This article aims to address these questions by providing an in-depth case study of St. Eustatius, a Dutch Caribbean island that in 2010 was politically integrated into the Netherlands as a public entity or special municipality. Based on two weeks of field research consisting of nineteen in-depth interviews with a variety of respondents on the island, the article finds that the changes of 2010 have not been able to function as a remedy to the profuse governance problems on the island, while the increased Dutch involvement and dominance have resulted in widespread frustration and resentment.

Affiliations: 1: KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies veenendaal@kitlv.nl

10.1163/22134360-09003055
/content/journals/10.1163/22134360-09003055
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Whereas small island territories are known to face a variety of obstacles to democracy and good governance, it is largely unclear if a nonsovereign relationship with a larger metropolitan country can alleviate these challenges, and which constitutional status provides the best results in this regard. This article aims to address these questions by providing an in-depth case study of St. Eustatius, a Dutch Caribbean island that in 2010 was politically integrated into the Netherlands as a public entity or special municipality. Based on two weeks of field research consisting of nineteen in-depth interviews with a variety of respondents on the island, the article finds that the changes of 2010 have not been able to function as a remedy to the profuse governance problems on the island, while the increased Dutch involvement and dominance have resulted in widespread frustration and resentment.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134360-09003055
2016-01-01
2018-06-23

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