Upon the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, the smallest islands in this federation – Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba – became special municipalities of the Netherlands, and were hence politically and constitutionally integrated into the Dutch metropolis. The present article seeks to understand this development in the context of the broader academic literature on small, non-sovereign island jurisdictions in the Caribbean and elsewhere. After a description of the reforms and a discussion of the perceived benefits and drawbacks of the new political status, the newly created Dutch Caribbean municipalities are compared with other non-sovereign jurisdictions in the Caribbean. Whereas the choice for political integration in itself can be compared with the French postwar policy of départementalisation, in terms of the historical significance and the direction of the reforms, the new political situation on Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba could rather be better likened to that of the British Overseas Territories and their relationship with the United Kingdom. Keywords: Bonaire,comparative politics, Dutch Caribbean, non-sovereignty, political reform,>post-colonialism, Saba, St. Eustatius, sub-national island jurisdiction.
Island Studies Journal, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2015, pp. 15-30 – Download PDF:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284922737_The_Dutch_Caribbean_municipalities_in_comparative_perspective