This paper investigates the origins, development, and consolidation of political oligarchy in the Caribbean island nation of St. Maarten. It investigates why oligarchies develop in small settings despite the democracy-stimulating tendencies of smallness posited by the academic literature. It offers an historical analysis of St. Maarten politics, and investigates how the smallness of St. Maarten has contributed to oligarchies on the island. The article analyses the political dynamics that buttress and sustain oligarchic rule in small island societies. St. Maarten is an interesting case study because it is typical of the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, including historically high levels of migration, and is understudied. Additionally, the island has experienced oligarchic politics for centuries, which makes St. Maarten a perfect case to study the link between smallness and oligarchy. Finally, because St. Maarten is nonsovereign, our analysis could yield insights into the effects of non-sovereignty on the formation of oligarchies.
|Journal||European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2016|