Pacific Geographies (Sep 2021)

„Micronexit”: Regionalism in confusion

  • Hasenkamp, Oliver

Journal volume & issue
no. 56
pp. 23 – 31


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Pacific regionalism is in a severe crisis after the Micronesian states Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia have announced their withdrawal from the most important regional organization, the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). This article discusses the reasons for the split that go beyond the mere selection of a new Secretary General of the Forum as the major trigger of the withdrawal and analyses possible consequences of the split within Oceania and beyond. It argues that characterizing “Micronexit” as a result of diverging interests between the United States and China is an oversimplification that ignores intraregional causes of the conflict. There are manifold divisions amongst PIF’s member states, which can lead to a decline of cooperation in the Pacific Islands’ region, even outside the Forum structures, e.g. at the United Nations, if no solution to the impasse can be found.