Sovereignty and Sovereignty Resource Utilization in the West Indies

Authors: William Shane Canup*, University of North Carolina at Greensboro / Southeastern Louisiana University
Topics: Caribbean Geographies, Political Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: sovereignty, sovereignty resources, political geography, economic geography, independence, West Indies, Caribbean, island studies
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 26
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This research will examine the utilization of “sovereignty resources” (e.g., passport sales, internet top-level domain sales, and votes in international organizations) as an element of development on small West Indian islands, and the relationship these resources may have with the various layers of sovereignty present in the region. Small islands have been well-recognized as having leveraged such resources for increased autonomy – yet often stopping short of full independence. The West Indies offers valuable opportunities to research this topic, as: island states in the West Indies are comparatively peripheral in the global economy; typically have low populations; frequently have sparse amounts of tangible, commodifiable resources; feature consistently-high rankings on the Human Development Index; and the region contains fully-sovereign states proximal to dependent territories. Fieldwork will be undertaken in St. Kitts & Nevis and Anguilla in Summer 2021.

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