Citizenship for Sale: Passports of Convenience from Pacific Island Tax Havens
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Pacific Island tax havens have apparently collected $153,450,000 from (mostly ethnic Chinese) purchasers of passports. This paper considers the evolution of passport sales in Tonga, Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru and internal and international opposition to them. Tension exists between different conceptions of citizenship within the world-system. Sales reflect classical liberal, individualistic, free market conceptions of citizenship. Opponents invoke both conservative and democratic conceptions of citizenship. This paper favours democratic solutions to many problems sales create. Sales schemes involve secrecy and corruption which attenuates following exposure by media, opposition politicians, watchdogs and crusaders against international terrorism. Pacific Island havens currently have no legal, official passport sales schemes, but this paper demonstrates that sales probably continue.
Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
© 2007 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.