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Title: Self-determination referendum, mining and ‘interdependence’ : reading the current political conjuncture in New Caledonia
Authors: Gentilucci, Marta
Keywords: Decolonization -- France
New Caledonia -- Politics and government -- 21st century
Referendum -- New Caledonia – History -- 21st century
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: University of Malta. Islands and Small States Institute
Citation: Gentilucci, M. (2019). Self-determination referendum, mining and ‘interdependence’: reading the current political conjuncture in New Caledonia. Small States & Territories, 2(2), 157-170.
Abstract: A self-determination referendum was held in New Caledonia on 4 November 2018 and, to the great astonishment of the anti-independence parties, the separatists secured 43% of the vote. A few months before this so-called “appointment with destiny”, French President Emmanuel Macron visited New Caledonia, where he underlined how the presence of France, the second maritime power in the world, was fundamental to contrast the expanding hegemony of China in the Pacific. Of course, control over natural resources, and nickel in particular, is also significant. Building on ten months of fieldwork in the northern region of New Caledonia, this article looks at the role of mining in political arrangements for New Caledonia’s future. It explores (1) the stakes of an independence referendum; (2) the relations between ‘islandness’ and natural resource management; and (3) the desire of indigenous people to be present and acknowledged within the global system.
Appears in Collections:SST Vol. 2, No. 2, November 2019
SST Vol. 2, No. 2, November 2019

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