Kingdom survey to be launched September 14

The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies KITLV is planning to conduct a large opinion survey about the relationships within the Dutch Kingdom after the reforms of 2010, writes the Daily Herald.

Between September 14 and October 31, local interviewers will visit various addresses on the islands with a paper questionnaire. The independent and academic opinion survey will be conducted on the least-studied islands in the Dutch Caribbean; Bonaire, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The interview is anonymous, can be conducted in English, Dutch, Papiamentu/ Papiamento or Spanish, and will take about 20 minutes to complete.

The results will be published later this year in various newspapers and via radio and television broadcasts. The survey is part of the research project Confronting Caribbean Challenges research project and is led by researcher Wouter Veenendaal.

The project seeks to answer the question how political reforms and intensive migrations affect historically- grounded identities and political practices on Bonaire, Statia, St. Maarten, and Saba.

The project seeks to answer this question by integrating multiple disciplines to analyse governance and identity in small-scale polities, with a particular focus on non-sovereignty, migration, and (sustainable) development.

After the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, the six islands remain locked in the post colonial imbroglio resulting from their rejection of full sovereignty, it is stated on the KITLV website.

“Against the advantages inherent in the asymmetrical link to the metropolis, there are constraints to the insular populations’ autonomy and identities. The constitutional reforms may have deepened the ambivalence of Antillean citizens and politicians towards the Netherlands, while high levels of immigration raise other questions about insular belonging. The Confronting Caribbean Challenges project will analyse the intersection of (recent) political reforms, often intensive migrations, and current practices of governance on four of these islands,” it is stated on the website.

The focus is on the least studied islands of the former Netherlands Antilles. The project utilizes a three tiered multi-disciplinary framework linking the past (historical development of hybrid identities), the present (governance, migration and citizenship issues), and the future (sustainable tourism capitalizing on natural and historical heritage).

The three sub-projects are to combine an historical perspective, contemporary empirical data and fresh insights into the literature on governance and identity in small-scale polities, emphasizing the variables of non-sovereignty and high intensity migration, it was explained.

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