The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

'Everybody knows everybody’: practising politics in the Pacific islands

'Everybody knows everybody’: practising politics in the Pacific islands
'Everybody knows everybody’: practising politics in the Pacific islands
In contrast to the disadvantage that economists and international donors often see as stemming from smallness, political scientists have a relatively equivocal view of the normative implications of size on democratic performance. Largely, studies interested in the correlation between size and democratization focus on the persistence and quality (or depth) of democratic norms and claim either that small is beautiful or that it is despotic. In this article I take a different approach. Rather than attempting to measure the impact of size on democratic outcomes, I provide a nuanced description of how it shapes political life by drawing on the views, experiences, and reflections of politicians in the Pacific Islands. Based on this “insider view” of politics, I highlight the centrality of family and kin to political dynamics and discuss their relevance to ideas like consensus and oversight, and persistent critiques about ostracism and corruption. I conclude by arguing that smallness provides mixed blessings – it is neither entirely beautiful nor endemically despotic.
1351-0347
51-72
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2

Corbett, Jack (2013) 'Everybody knows everybody’: practising politics in the Pacific islands. Democratization, 22 (1), 51-72. (doi:10.1080/13510347.2013.811233).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In contrast to the disadvantage that economists and international donors often see as stemming from smallness, political scientists have a relatively equivocal view of the normative implications of size on democratic performance. Largely, studies interested in the correlation between size and democratization focus on the persistence and quality (or depth) of democratic norms and claim either that small is beautiful or that it is despotic. In this article I take a different approach. Rather than attempting to measure the impact of size on democratic outcomes, I provide a nuanced description of how it shapes political life by drawing on the views, experiences, and reflections of politicians in the Pacific Islands. Based on this “insider view” of politics, I highlight the centrality of family and kin to political dynamics and discuss their relevance to ideas like consensus and oversight, and persistent critiques about ostracism and corruption. I conclude by arguing that smallness provides mixed blessings – it is neither entirely beautiful nor endemically despotic.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 1 August 2013
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388383
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388383
ISSN: 1351-0347
PURE UUID: 5e0fe283-a672-4d31-b83f-f3b346b9a942
ORCID for Jack Corbett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2005-7162

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Feb 2016 13:32
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:11

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×