All the world is a stage: global governance, human resources, and the ‘problem’ of smallness

Jack Corbett, John Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: The involvement of small island states (SISs) in a growing number of international organisations (IOs) has placed increased pressure on domestic bureaucracies and political systems. Rapid turnover among SIS leaders, combined with generational change and decreased local support, has amplified disadvantages. Growing complexity has therefore further exposed the long-standing vulnerabilities of SISs. They can play a creative role at the margins, and on certain issues in certain IOs, but in general asymmetries prevail. The lesson is that national sovereignty does not always equal control, and what might superficially appear to be equal access is constrained by the availability of technical expertise to the detriment of SISs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-459
Number of pages25
JournalPacific Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • global governance
  • international organisations
  • Pacific islands
  • small island states

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