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"A Power in the World": The Hawaiian Kingdom as a Model of Hybrid Statecraft in Oceania and a Progenitor of Pan-Oceanianism

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Title:"A Power in the World": The Hawaiian Kingdom as a Model of Hybrid Statecraft in Oceania and a Progenitor of Pan-Oceanianism
Authors:Gonschor, Lorenz
Keywords:Hawaiian Kingdom
Pacific Islands
State Formation
Non-Western States
show 5 moreHybridity
Institutional Transfer
De-colonial Futures
show less
Date Issued:Dec 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
Abstract:In the nineteenth century, the Hawaiian Kingdom became the first, and for a long time only, non-Western state to achieve full recognition as a co-equal of the Western powers. Technologically at the cutting edge of modernity but at the same time grounded in aboriginal tradition and identity, the Kingdom was an archetypical example of a hybrid state. While knowledge of this has been all but erased due to the on-going occupation of Hawai‘i by the United States, it has recently resurfaced thanks to the work of various Hawaiian scholars. Most remarkable, the Kingdom’s leaders, including monarchs, government officials and diplomats, used their country’s secured political status to promote the building of independent states on its model throughout the Pacific Islands, and envisioned a unified Oceania. Such a pan-Oceanian polity would be able to withstand foreign colonialism and be, in the words of one of the idea’s pioneers “a Power in the World.” While the islands of Oceania did eventually succumb to colonialism, and the Hawaiian Kingdom itself was invaded and occupied, the legacy of this visionary policy can be seen in many aspects of Oceania today and can serve as an inspiration and guideline for envisioning de-colonial futures for the Pacific region. Within this context, the dissertation examines and analyses two intertwined processes: First, the evolution of the Hawaiian Kingdom from its classical predecessors to the exemplary hybrid state in Oceania and the dissemination and institutional transfer of this model to other Pacific archipelagos; and secondly, the development of a Hawai‘i-based pan-Oceanianist policy and underlying ideology, which provided the rationale for the spread of the Hawaiian political model to be actively promoted by the Kingdom’s government. This historical narrative is put in perspective of the pan-Oceanianist writings of Epeli Hau‘ofa, current political moves towards more assertive Oceanian regionalism and the movement to de-occupy the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Political Science

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