Head versus heart: The ambiguities of non-sovereignty in the Dutch Caribbean

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Series Details Vol.28, No.1, 2018, p25-45
Publication Date February 2018
ISSN 1359-7566
Content Type


Whereas political scientists tend to make binary distinctions between sovereign states and subnational units, in recent decades the number of a third, hybrid category of federacies or non-sovereign jurisdictions has strongly increased. In this paper, we explore the benefits and downsides of non-sovereignty from the perspective of these territories’ inhabitants.

We zoom in on the six islands of the Dutch Caribbean, which in 2010 experienced a profound change in their political status. Using data from two large-scale opinion surveys that we conducted in 1998 and 2015, respectively, we show that the population of the Dutch Caribbean islands maintains a highly ambiguous attitude towards the non-sovereign status. While many respondents appreciate the material benefits of the enduring link with the metropolis, there are significant emotional and ideational objections to this relationship.

These findings are embedded in broader scholarly discussions about the position of decentralized and peripheral jurisdictions vis-Ă -vis their administrative core.

Source Link https://doi.org/10.1080/13597566.2017.1368018
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