University of Malta

The case for non-sovereignty : lessons from sub-national island jurisdictions


Territories like American Samoa, Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands and the Faeroes are sub-national island jurisdictions (SNIJs). They all share some measure of autonomous government, and are easily construed as independent states-in-waiting. Yet most of these territories exhibit no urgency to become independent. Instead, they appear to have decided that there are political and economic benefits accruing today when island territories are autonomous but not sovereign. In an uncertain world, a substantial degree of autonomy, respect and protection for local culture and identity, reasonable provision of employment opportunities, welfare and security by a larger and benign metropolitan state, have collectively weakened most local thrusts for independence. In spite of the mandate of the United Nations Committee on Decolonization, there is a strong case to be made today for non-sovereignty, and it is the SNIJs that provide clear evidence. Most of the papers in this volume were previously published as a special issue of The Round Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Vol.95, Issue No. 386, September 2006.

Edited by Godfrey Baldacchino and David Milne

First published 2009 by Routledge

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge

First issued in paperback 2014

© 2009 Selection and editorial matter, Godfrey Baldacchino and David Milne; individual chapters, the contributors

Typeset in Sabon Roman by KnowledgeWorks Global Limited, Chennai, India

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

ISBN 13: 978-0-415-45550-3 (hbk)

ISBN 13: 978-0-415-86478-7 (pbk)

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