The Politics of South Pacific Regional Cooperation
Regional cooperation in the South Pacific has become a highly complex political process. One source of that complexity is the large number of states and territorial administrations involved in the process. There are about 35 such political entities currently trying to influence the outcomes of regional cooperation. These entities represent divergent interests: they include some of the world’s most powerful states—the United States, France, and Britain—and some of the smallest—Niue, Nauru, and Tuvalu; they vary in constitutional status from fully independent, to “associated” states, to dependent territories; they vary in their economic potential, their colonial experience, and in their cultures. These states and territories have different rights and obligations within the cooperative institutions, a further cause of complexity.
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