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Territory, islandness, and the secessionist imaginary: Why do very small communities favour autonomy over integration?

Territory, islandness, and the secessionist imaginary: Why do very small communities favour autonomy over integration?
Territory, islandness, and the secessionist imaginary: Why do very small communities favour autonomy over integration?
Small communities should have the most to gain from integration but the average size of the state is shrinking as island nationalism creates new, and very small, states out of former colonies, and federalised or autonomous territories. ‘Islandness’, as a proxy for territory, is employed as a resource to justify secession but mainstream studies subordinate this factor in accounts that privilege ethnic, religious, linguistic or economic drivers of identity. This article adds to a small body of work that foregrounds territory. Drawing on an in-depth case study of Barbuda’s (population 1,600) attempt to secede from Antigua, it demonstrates how nationalists employ different meanings of territory—legal, cultural and political—to make the case for secession in the absence of factors commonly theorised to drive identify formation. Barbudan secessionism therefore problematises mainstream theory. It concludes by arguing that paying greater attention to how territory acts as a resource in the nationalist imaginary allows us to re-examine long-standing studies and cases in new and penetrating light.
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2

Corbett, Jack (2020) Territory, islandness, and the secessionist imaginary: Why do very small communities favour autonomy over integration? Nations and Nationalism. (doi:10.1111/nana.12597).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Small communities should have the most to gain from integration but the average size of the state is shrinking as island nationalism creates new, and very small, states out of former colonies, and federalised or autonomous territories. ‘Islandness’, as a proxy for territory, is employed as a resource to justify secession but mainstream studies subordinate this factor in accounts that privilege ethnic, religious, linguistic or economic drivers of identity. This article adds to a small body of work that foregrounds territory. Drawing on an in-depth case study of Barbuda’s (population 1,600) attempt to secede from Antigua, it demonstrates how nationalists employ different meanings of territory—legal, cultural and political—to make the case for secession in the absence of factors commonly theorised to drive identify formation. Barbudan secessionism therefore problematises mainstream theory. It concludes by arguing that paying greater attention to how territory acts as a resource in the nationalist imaginary allows us to re-examine long-standing studies and cases in new and penetrating light.

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Territory Islandness and the Secessionist Imaginary - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 2 September 2021.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 September 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 January 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437440
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437440
PURE UUID: 0249fccd-bbd9-4cd8-80cb-cf72aa82f548
ORCID for Jack Corbett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2005-7162

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Date deposited: 30 Jan 2020 17:37
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:08

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