Related links

An emerging “Islandian” sovereignty of non-self-governing islands
by Gerard Prinsen and Severine Blaise
(International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis, February 16, 2017)


Comparative analyses have found that non-self-governing islands tend to have much better development indicators than sovereign islands. Perhaps unsurprisingly, since 1983 no non-self-governing island has acquired political independence. This paper argues that rather than merely maintaining the status quo with their colonial metropoles, non-self-governing islands are actively creating a new form of sovereignty. This creation of an “Islandian” sovereignty takes place against the backdrop of debates on the relevance of classic Westphalian sovereignty and emerging practices of Indigenous sovereignty. This paper reviews global research on the sovereignty of islands and from this review, develops an analytical framework of five mechanisms that drive the emerging Islandian sovereignty. This framework is tested and illustrated with a case study of the negotiations about sovereignty between New Caledonia and its colonial metropole, France.

Be sure to check out this presentation by Alison Lotti, John Overton, Gerard Prinsen and Elizbeth Worliczek on “Inter-island rivalry in the Pacific.”


And here’s the link to a book trailer for David A. Rezvani’s new book, Surpassing the Sovereign State: The Wealth, Self-Rule, and Security Advantages of Partially Independent Territories (Oxford University Press).

  • The first book that systematically discusses the existence, origins, maintenance, and occasional termination of partially independent territories in international and comparative politics
  • Assesses the costs and benefits of partial independence as compared to full independence for Scotland, Catalonia, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as other similarly situated polities around the world
  • Charts new terrain on the changing nature of the international system
  • Based on interviews with high ranking government officials in a wide range of countries





Hosted by the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability,
University of Prince Edward Island/University of Malta,
and The University of St Martin, Philipsburg


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