This blog is about Hawaii's status as an independent country under prolonged illegal occupation by the United States, and the history, culture, law & politics of the islands.

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Lorenz Gonschor Dissertation Defense re Hawaiian Kingdom



By Lorenz Gonschor

Political Science

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 today 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.

Monday, April 4, 2016
2pm to 4pm
Saunders 704
Department of Political Science, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
2424 Maile Way, Saunders 640, Honolulu, HI 96822-2223

1 comment to Lorenz Gonschor Dissertation Defense re Hawaiian Kingdom

  • Marie-Pierre Hazera

    Lieber Lorenz,

    seit 2009 bin ich nicht mehr auf Fidschi. Nach einem kurzen Aufenthalt in Deutschland bin ich nun endgültig nach Frankreich (in die Gegend von Bordeaux) gezogen. Leider habe ich zu einigen Leuten aus dem Pazifik den Kontakt verloren. Ich erreiche zum Beispiel Gabi per Email nicht mehr.
    Wenn es nicht zu viel verlangt ist, würde ich mich sehr freuen, wenn du mir Gabis Email-Adresse schicken könntest, da die alte Adresse nicht mehr funktioniert.
    Wenn ich die lange Liste deiner Publikationen sehe, habe ich den Eindruck, dass du in Hawai eine sehr schöne Karriere machst und es freut mich sehr für dich.
    Ich wäre sehr froh, von dir zu hören.
    Vielleicht bis bald,
    Liebe Grüße von
    Marie-Pierre (Hazera)

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