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Title: Decolonising the economy in micropolities : rents, government spending and infrastructure development in Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland)
Authors: Grydehoj, Adam
Keywords: Decolonization -- Greenland
States, Small -- Greenland -- Case studies
Greenland -- Economic policy
Government spending policy -- Greenland
Subnational governments
Issue Date: 2018-05
Publisher: University of Malta. Islands and Small States Institute
Citation: Grydehøj, A. (2018). Decolonising the economy in micropolities: rents, government spending and infrastructure development in Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland). Small States & Territories, 1(1), 69-94.
Abstract: Assessments of both legitimate governmental activity and responsible economic policy tend to be dominated by conceptions developed at the scale of the large state. Nevertheless, large state perspectives on appropriate levels of public spending relative to economic size and appropriate forms of economic activity do not always match the reality of governance and economics in micropolities (including both very small sovereign states and highly autonomous subnational jurisdictions). This paper considers the case of Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), a subnational island jurisdiction of Denmark, to explore how the needs of micropolities are not served by understandings of governance and economics scaled to the large state. Focus is placed on Kalaallit Nunaat’s accrual of rents, government spending, and infrastructure development. Although Kalaallit Nunaat is, like many other micropolities, economically dependent on rents, it has been subjected to large state economic understandings that are often tied up in neocolonial processes and lead to the privileging of metropolitan expertise and development trajectories. Micropolities like Kalaallit Nunaat are better served by policy approaches that take into account the realities of small scale governance and economics, even if these fly in the face of large state experiences and expectations.
Appears in Collections:SST Vol. 1, No. 1, May 2018

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