Microstatecraft: Sovereignty as Currency for Oceania’s Island States


Pacific Islands

How to Cite

Yarina, L. (2020). Microstatecraft: Sovereignty as Currency for Oceania’s Island States. InForma, 12, 216-231. Retrieved from https://revistas.upr.edu/index.php/informa/article/view/17375


The sovereign archipelagos of the Pacific represent the distinctive typology of the ‘microstate.’ Emerging in the global post-colonial era, they are many of the smallest countries in the world in terms of both population and land area. Still, as independent states, each has earned a seat in the United Nations General Assembly, and other trappings of transnationally recognized sovereignty. This essay explores informa Issue #12 ‘Site Conditions’ 15 the microstatecraft of Pacific Island nations— distinct transnational negotiations made possible, desirable, or necessary by the unique characteristics of these small island, big ocean states. In particular, microstatecraft refers to the opportunities created for these countries by leveraging their very status as states. Rather than a ‘development failure,’ this subversion of sovereign status can be seen as an astute strategy for selfdetermination, rejecting the inequities perpetrated by global neoliberalism. How does microstate soveregnty operate differently? This research article explores how Pacific Island micro states use their sovereignty as a form of currency in the contemporary era, and considers the potentials in this mode of operation.
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