Despite being an emergency substitute teacher for four History of Guam classes at the University of Guam for the entire month of November, I was still able to finish up the first sprawling draft of the third chapter of my dissertation. Yanggen ti macho'cho'cho' yu', siempre mas nina'funhayan as Guahu.
When I say sprawling, I am not exaggerating, this thing is was forty something single spaced pages, and could have gone on longer if I hadn't eventually hadn't considered the damage I would be causing my chair if I continued. The inanakko' of this chapter is due primarily to the fact that it is a sort of mainstream lit review of sovereignty, and an explanation about why I cannot use mainstream sovereignty texts or even the concept itself when talking about Guam's political status and talking about sovereignty for the island. Not wanting to produce a traditional or very simple literature review, I instead created a very convoluted but eventually worthwhile journey through the concept of sovereignty, its origins, its limits, and finally ending with the ghostly character that sites such as Guam or communities such as indigenous people are forced to endure through the hegemony of this concept. How they and their political existences can never really be the unit of analysis or the "subject" of academic discipline such as political status or international relations, but must always be relegated to an exceptional or minimal status, which is often made readible through frames of these communities not meaning anything, having no effect on history, being forgotten by history or simple abberations of the way history is supposed to unfold. I end the chapter noting that this ghostly quality should not be interpreted as being just an accident or that they are places which have just been forgotten and once "recognized" will be placed with everyone else at the table of recognized global actors, but in reality their ghostly statuses are necessary, and in fact their positions of being excluded and included actually produce the progressive, rational, equal modern world order that everyone is always so interested in defending.
After this, I have two chapters left, one of which won't take much time because I already have a first draft of it from last year. The second, will take longer, but require nowhere near as much effort as this one did. Gi minagahet gaige yu' ta'lo gi lagu, so I can meet up with my committee members and work out a plan for my defense and also how to start getting feedback on my chapters. I'm hoping that I can have all this done in the next few months and then defend in June of 2009. I'm also here to catch up with i nobia-hu Rashne, we've been long distance for month now since I've been on Guam!
As has become my tradition, I'm pasting below the tetehnan from the writing of this chapter. I don't recall at how many pages or words the tetehnan from the first two chapters clocked in at, but this one seems out of control. But rest assured, there are some interesting points to dig through there, even full page sections which were taken out. Once again, I'll be pasting images of Guam sunsets to make the text much more interesting. Un biahi ta'lo, bai hu na'halom litratun tininok atdao gi entre i tinige'-hu siha, para u nina'gefpago gui'.
it appears on few lists as a site of American imperialism
This section will discuss
but one which contrasts in terms of rhetoric and approach from how the idea came to be
when matched up against this empire. The borders of the world’s nations, the
arguing for a future with American outposts around the world.
Even from the segment of American political discourse which is critical of American “wars” the magic of sovereignty can still hold weight, in that even when John McCain is very much telling the truth and absolutely correct in his assessment of American foreign/basing policy, and that the United States already has several dozen permanent bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, it can still make them miss these obvious truths and assert an almost ridiculous outrage.
Where to start from? Due to the lack of Guam-specific literature on sovereignty, I have several different options on how to proceed.
“sovereign nation of Iraq.”
But in the larger goal of this dissertation, this approach is useless.
Guam’s status as a colony is not colonial
Stade/Perez: (this one is different because it doesn’t just provide the history
The conditions of existence for sovereignty.
2. Guam academic lit on sovereignty.
(Na’suha este esta ki i otro na kanto)
Despite Guam’s current colonial status, there is a clear lack of literature which takes this existence as its object of inquiry or articulate means of “getting out of it.”
While all Chamorro academic texts will mention this fact and relegate it to the background of their intervention, the “colonialness” of Guam is generally attributed to past (history emphasis?)
In all of these, there is a historical emphasis (footnote, this is part of the previous generation of Chamorro scholarship that Robert Underwood’s Hispanic text was a part of. You don’t exist, yes we do. The history emphasis is part of that work of proving that we do exist. Not necessarily going beyond the how that we exist today or shaping changing that, but merely getting to the point where the Chamorro can exist today, can survived colonization, genocide, wars, but still exist today.
Describe the state of affairs.
Arnold Liebowitz’s tome Defining Status is one such example of this. Providing a thick, dense, detailed discussion of the emergence of Guam’s territorial status, as well as all others.
The article “?” by Chamorro sociologist at first appears to offer a new perspective on sovereignty and Guam, but it is one which ultimately doesn’t lead us very far.
(Use’s Stade’s version)
The article was not originally one about sovereignty, but rather a piece on Chamorro resistance to American colonialism and their use of universal and indigenous human rights discourses on decolonization to make their case. Perez placed Chamorros alongside other “Fourth World Movements” …global indigenous nationalisms.
Tracing the statements of Chamorro activists since 19??, he puts Chamorros in a very clearly exceptional position in the world today, a colony, but one surrounded by an indifferent world. The prospects for Chamorro sovereignty, for Guam’s decolonization are thus dim, but the article is ended with a reinforcing of the “continued existence discourse” using a paragraph from Chamorro studies scholar Vince Diaz’s article ?
Diaz who emerged as one of the most poetic scholars in terms of arguing about a continuing and vibrant Chamorro existence (resistance)
When looking at this dimension, Perez’s article is very similar to the statements and quotes of those that he uses to build his article. In anticipation of its publication in the volume Sovereignty Matters, the article was revamped and new sections and emphasis on Chamorro sovereignty, not necessarily resistance or decolonization were written.
But the theoretical framework for conceiving of sovereignty that Perez borrows from anthropologist Roland Stade creates the space for the very argument of his article to be rendered moot by virtue of the changing conditions of the world today.
Instead of seeing sovereign independence or some sort of sovereign local authority for Guam as the goal waiting progressive or critical minds on the island’s horizon to which Guam must head towards, Stade places Guam at the very apex of the horizon, arguing that its exceptional status makes it the point to which all other nations are heading. Changes in everything from economies, military, borders, governments, have all created the conditions where sovereignty is no longer sovereignty (if it ever was). Questions about sovereignty or its constitution are therefore moot since sovereignty guarantees nothing, is nothing.
Guam’s status as a colony is not necessarily colonial, not necessarily a sign of injustice or ill-treatment, but is an example of the emerging global/local forms of hybridity. A place which the rest of the world is heading to or is already there, whether they or their political scientists admit to it or not.
While there is no doubt a critical edge to this version of sovereignty, as it attempts to rethink the notion of sovereignty as producing anything that resembles, or being some sort of concrete secure thing. It shows the clear gaps in the promise of sovereignty, or even its desirability in a world full of hybrid subjects where globalization is not just a buffed up and prettied up version of colonialism. In some ways, as will be discussed later in this chapter, I agree with this point.
But in the larger goal of this dissertation, this approach is useless. For Guam, sovereignty is not a concept which is to be critiqued and interrogated in the hopes of leading the island elsewhere, but is instead to be opened up in order to create an acceptance of Guam’s current position. It is to be opened up to be revealed as offering nothing, as a foolish gesture of purity, a dying wish for purity or self-determination in a hybrid world.
I think there is much more potential in interrogating sovereignty in relation to Guam, and in particular interrogating it in such a way as to not naturalize American control or dominance of the island. It is one thing to say that sovereignty is not sovereignty today, but the collateral damage of such a critical gesture might be then to naturalize the inequitable and colonial relationships that places such as Guam are stuck in. To say that whatever they’ve currently got is the best they can hope for. Any sort of “critical” intervention must also attest to this aspect, and must offer some means of not just critiquing sovereignty itself, but also the situation that this definition of sovereignty creates in a place such as Guam.
(Should you bring in the “better to be a colony than to be dead” comment from blog. They are basically the same argument)
Even the invasion of Iraq, and the idea that it was a “sovereign” nation prior to
At a more theoretical level, the definition of sovereignty does not allow for the easy address or support the interrogation of the production of existence of sovereignty, except in two very narrow, self-aggrandizing terms.
(YOU CAN BRING INTO THIS SECTION, THE SHORT PHILOSOPHICAL GENEALOGY OF SOVEREIGNTY THAT YOU HAVE)
Sovereignty, as I’ve noted is my chosen terrain for my analysis. However by simply naming this concept as the critical frame for this project, I am already in hostile territory. With regards to the political realities and questions I am referencing, the dominant understandings of sovereignty are either viscerally unfriendly or painfully inadequate. As sovereignty in any popular or formal political scientific definition is very distant from my intent or interests for this dissertation, I will spare us all from the pain of any nuanced review of the concept of sovereignty, and provide the most mainstream and basic definition I could find, which
is dominant today, is not a timeless of eternal one, but one which is
What we have seen in the past century (?) is a drastic shift in the way sovereignty is discussed.
But as expansive both historically and in descriptive terms as this definition might appear to be, how useful is it for the “details” of American Empire that I am interested in?
Talk about the ideal conditions of a government. The location of power, just power, necessary power. The transformation of raw, brute power into a just and rightful, stable authority.
The above definition is surprisingly comprehensive, but in the terms of which I hope to write for this dissertation, unsurprisingly narrow. This is as many political scientists and international relations scholars will tell you, is the concept and definition which has governed and civilized the conduct and relations of nations for centuries.
(bring in from book)
Bring in Bartelsen quote about how this changes.
What we have seen in the past century (?) is a drastic shift in the way sovereignty is discussed.
Moved from a site of inquiry, or an open question to a closed one. It has been attributed in the way it is claimed academically today a giveness. It is no longer a unit of inquiry, but the foundation, the given assumption that one build’s their investigation upon.
We can perceive this most clearly from the shifting of the proper realm of sovereignty from philosophy, to political science and IR. While the philosophizing of sovereignty dealt with the issues of internal legitimacy and who should dominate a community, and where therefore the location and constitution of sovereignty in political science, the questions are dismissed or assumed simple answers.
Sovereignty is displaced from the interiority of nations or communities and sent the borders between them.
I have several problems with this definition
It is here that we encounter the two intellectual communities that claim sovereignty as their domain of knowledge: political science and international relations. ___________
They can answer the what, they are obsessed with the what, and the result is that the “how” of sovereignty is simply assumed, or is forgotten.
You can segue from shrouding of its origins, into a shift from philosophy to political science.
Why does this change happen?
It moves from a site of inquiry, it changes from being an open question to a close one
as being codified through two discursive objects
The development of modern international systems of recognition and law. The creation of governmentality, the science/art of government.
QUOTE from Sovereignty Matters text that can segue.
In political science texts however, it is somewhat reverse.
Sovereignty emerges as the answer to the violence of a previous era, and is the framework that has kept that violence at bay. (Provide a quote).
The giveness, the necessity of the concept becomes the lock, underpinning or holding intact and stable the world itself.
(Sovereignty is deeply embedded in the nation-state form, part of its tissue, to open up the issue of sovereignty is to open up the tissue of reality, to tempt a violent horror)
(add) Alan Cranston
(add a critical quote about this state centrism)
This precisely the type of sovereignty I am interested in, which is far from concrete, but works like magic, immensely powerful, but exists in such fragile, small and often ridiculous ways. But Cranston’s book, like much of the sovereignty literature that we find in Political Science and IR contains this dimension often as a form of flourish or token poetics, but is quickly marginalized, buried beneath imposing chapters on mutual recognition, different forms of domestic and international sovereignty, legal cases, tribunals, etc.
Bring in here Jackson’s book. The 9/11 component
Jen Bartelsen beings his text The Genealogy of Sovereignty with
The BIG BREAK. JACKSON 50-51.
This narrative is often based upon the previous narrow conceptions of sovereignty’s “history
Also you could bring in here Cranston’s own book. The relationship between the magic and the concrete? That the magic exists as something sustained through the emphasis of the concrete and the formal? It is stronger the longer and more sustained the ignorance of inattention to it is continued.
The more formal something appears, the more it relies upon a mystical element to mask its origins, its violences, its history and its fragility.
These definitions are broad and fairly comprehensive when referring to relations between nations, international law and recognition. But for Guam and my hopes for this dissertation they are very limiting.
Tie them together, what are the things that sovereignty in this vein takes as its venue, as its site, as its domain. The governing of territory, the demarcating of territory, the providing of rules and order for the governing of territory, determining the rights of states within their borders and in relation to each other.
(quote here, about the violence of the time before sovereignty. Giddens?)
Defined against, defined through
Thus, in the production of most academic knowledge on sovereignty the concept is closely linked to and in fact embedded in the nation-state form, and thus,
Sovereignty’s production is regularly traced and discussed, but always in historical terms, as a concept which has developed and progress to lead us to this auspicious current moment, where the world sits together at a table of rational pragmatic exchange and recognition, which sovereignty has made possible. (Bartelsen? Look for quote)
The current world order, the basic rules by which countries are supposed to play is all intricately tied to this definition of sovereignty, and thus
Jackson P. 51 –Putting to rest the violence of the old world.
forced to move towards the naturalization and
Somewhere around here, use this quote:
(these men were wrapped up in the flow of progress, they were thralls in the forward movement of progress and European ideas, they were powerless, unable to return to their violent way, they could do nothing but go with this flow towards sovereignty)
1. Get sovereignty for Guam.
However, if we look at the nations that have decolonized over the past 40 years, they are hardly equal with their former colonizers, since the world that awaited their freshly forged national souls and cultures, was one defined by
inequities of the relationship
In order to make my critiques in this chapter much more nuanced, I’ll extend my analysis beyond just Guam, but also include other indigenous or colonized peoples today.
The United Nations is a hall built for recognition and made from recognition. It exists to guarantee that so long as you are a member of this body, you may not be taken seriously, you may not be
While peering through the flags of literally close to two hundred nations, desperately searching for Guam’s,
We need only
and testifying before the
I have several problems with this definition
1. Get sovereignty for Guam.
Sovereignty as a panacea. Neo-colonialism, Guam will help re-define neocolonialism.
For more evidence of the meaningless of formal sovereignty for small, developing and newly decolonized nations, we need only take the examples of the islands in the Micronesia that surround Guam,
The questions of sovereignty’s limits are immaterial as it is simply better to have a seat at the table, then to be cast off to the side.
(The United Nations, flags, a table, a presence there, instead of that exceptional and limited being. Twice a year to two different committees who provide no response. )
As a panacea, the shell of sovereignty is sufficient. The other questions of relationships that colonialism can continue to thrive on are not addressed.
Where would you find a good quote for this?
In Terrence Wesley Smith’s paper?
(for those outside, the logical step here is to become “sovereign” is to join this fraternity by becoming a recognizing nation-state.)
This version of sovereignty is based
Actually both of these versions of sovereignty are based on a progressive myth.
This wouldn’t attend to the questions of the relationship, that which is colonial would become neo-colonial.
Returning to the Micronesian examples, let’s look for a moment at
It assumes a progressiveness or moral goodness or evolution involved with the application of the concept, which does not exist in the real world. According to Smith
Smith details numerous instances where
which refers to numerous problems which the panacea of sovereignty had no solutions to
Focusing primarily on Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
Smith recounts briefly the recent history of recen
Difficulties in managing their economies
Not only has the principle of self-determination been rather selectively applied, but it has produced some unanticipated and unfortunate results. In places like Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, day to- day conditions for many may have got worse rather than better since independence. This is by no means to deride the intrinsic value of sovereign independence, but to suggest that the problems associated with making modern states and nations, and with the development project generally, can easily serve to frustrate expectations of ‘hope and a new future’”
quest for decolonization in Palau
. Second, given the lack of sovereignty of Guam, and its continuing colonial status, the simple “critical” solution here, might be to get sovereignty for Guam, or have Guam join the rest of the world through the “giving” of its sovereignty in a formal sense. However, if we look at the nations that have decolonized over the past 40 years, they are hardly equal with their former colonizers, since the world that awaited their freshly forged national souls and cultures, was one defined by itchy and greedy neo-colonial figures, trapping them in the same structurally inequitable relationship, although now with less odor from colonialism. For more evidence of the meaningless of formal sovereignty for small, developing and newly decolonized nations, we need only take the examples of the islands in the Micronesia that surround Guam. Islands such as Palau have formal sovereignty, but if we look closely at the history of their negotiations with the United States and even the way their government and economy is situated today, the political existence of Palau demands that we redefine sovereignty so that it can mean something, since if the formal sovereignty that Palau has is supposed to be sovereignty, then sovereignty means nothing.
Thus, in the production of most academic knowledge on sovereignty the concept is closely linked to and in fact embedded in the nation-state form, and thus,
(bring in quote for the relationship between sovereignty and the current order? Bartelsen? Giddens?)
It thus becomes a concept which is central to the world today, one which underpins the stability of the world today.
The result is that sovereignty becomes an assumes, closed concept. Bring in Bartelsen, he had a good quote about the more necessary something is the less open for critique it is.
It becomes a key piece in the creation of the world today, as an idea that maintains freedom, order and peace.
Then you segue into the next point, where how is the existence of sovereignty handled in political science other than this “giveness.” Through the trope of threat.
Given this assumption of sovereignty now as an object that always already exists, its questions of existence only come into play when it is being threatened.
as a metaphor moving beyond the description of this relationship.
If we look
If we look however at the case of Guam
Very few people know this but we are currently living in the 2nd decade of United Nation’s efforts to officially eradicate colonialism. While colonialism is something which is often invoked as a metaphor, a faded, worn and dirty, dirty lens through which the world today is politicized, implying that either something which was banished has returned and must be sent back to the abyss, or that it has evolved into a more hybrid, and dangerous creature, it is important to remember that it still exists.
This plea to bring critique or
Decolonization and laughable quote from Iran.
of eventual decolonization was further belied following my testimony in 2007 at the United Nations, where an staff member from the Iran delegation accosted me, wishing to know more about Guam’s situation and offering his support to our cause. Part of the official, albeit muted, United States State Department response to Guam’s presence at the United Nations is that Guam and the other colonies of the United States lie beyond the mandate of the United Nations as their political status represent “domestic concerns.” After providing him a few more details such as this, he responded,
This image of the United States refuses to a need to decolonize Guam, recognize the authority of the United Nation’s mandate or even just recognize that the demands of Chamorros are not simply “domestic concerns”
(and that definition, that version of sovereignty, makes all these potential claims, supplemental, appear as mere details to that one true power, that one true authority over a territory)
(Mark Harris’ article)
This plea to bring out, or critique
We can see this form of sovereignty, this arrangement articulated in the response of the United States to the passage of the Declaration of Indigenous Rights.
“Much like state-like treatment”
There is a clear danger
On the other hand however there is a danger of thinking of sovereignty in the way in which the representative of the United States argued for it, as
This is found in both criticisms of this version of sov. That the ideas of history and present reality depend upon an almost clueless positivity.
Victoria at the UN
7.mich to the irritation of the United States State Department
The refusal to recognize both the mandate of the United Nations in this matter or the right of Chamorros to self-determination occasionally has taken more oppositional forms.
The same could be said for how the United States refuses to respect or even accept openly or publicly that the island and its people have any right to decolonization.
This progressivity is belied however, by the status of indigenous and colonized people around the world, a point we can see clarified through the insular and interior Empire of the United States.
The United States, along with three other white settler colonial nations, Australia, Canda and New Zealand, had all made a symbolic protest by being the only nations to vote against the passage of the declaration. Their protests and rejection of the declaration was couched in these very terms, without using the term “sovereign” or “sovereignty” the implementation and the power the declaration would afford or would help enable
According to the ? the impact of this declaration
Nations accompanying the passage of the declaration, the declaration:
how most of the nation-states of today came into being, a
(should you focus on the treaty aspects? These are the mechanics of “sovereignty” the things which the dominant definition of sovereignty takes as its obligation to define, promote, describe, protect. These are the things of sovereignty)
outlines my third problem with the dominant definition of sovereignty, which is closely linked to my previous point:
amongst indigenous peoples conflicted with the existing rights each state was supposedly guaranteed by the concept.
Opponents also objected to one provision requiring states "to consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples ...to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources."
(not in terms of description, defining, but in terms of that which sovereignty is ultimately about, legitimacy, power, control, authority) To bring out that internal, not internal to a territory, but internal to the concept itself, to the aura it creates, the legitimacy, the nature of its constitution.
We can see this in the official response of the United States to the passage of the declaration. In it they primarily couched their resistance in a disappointment in how much sovereignty indigenous people could possible expect, when in reality a much more
The official position of the United States on its colonies today, is that they are internal issues, domestic concerns, and as such the United Nations has no authority or mandate to encourage negotiations on their status, or in any way alter their relationship to the United States.
\ Such a declaration would leave the political constitution of the United States intact as it is, and would legitimize even further the sub-set, subordinate world of laws and relationships which the United States has already developed over centuries in order to obscure any possible sovereignty for its indigenous people.
(to leave that shall intact, but to create a sub-set, a subordinate sort of arrangement, to leave the basic definition of sovereignty intact, to dismiss those potential threats to its power as supplementary claims, as those which can simply be submerged within existing nation-states.)
The hammering down of that which sticks up, the concealing of that which tarnishes, that which reveals fragility or instability, inconsistency. I am splattered with the blood of your origin.)
Begin with Alfred Taiaiake, internal, focus on the internal aspect.
(this is for the US response section)
As Alfred critiques in his article however, there isn’t really a dearth of literature or work being done on sovereignty amongst Native American and some indigenous communities.
We have to return to the way the indigenous person, the way Guam appears back at that formal level, definition.
In both of these texts, we find a subsuming of the particularity of indigenous claims to sovereignty within the context or “minority” rights. Ascribed a generic anti-government claim, minority nationalism, cultural rights, etc.
In two texts which are highly critical of the concept of sovereignty and its
These sites are ghosts.
In this section
Indigenous people, according to the United Nations constitute more than 300 million of the world’s people today, yet in the texts which attempt to make sense of the rules and rights through sovereignty of this world, they flicker and fade.
They represent according to the United Nations, 300 million people, yet flicker as if ghosts on the borders of texts that attempt to make sense of the modern world they are trapped by.
Is this where you start into the non-place?
Another example, from Jackson p. 9-10: “
In this version of sovereignty, Guam is a non-place. The emptiness of Guam continues as we find no place for it, and yet at the same time an imperviousness to any potential/obvious critiques that Guam might represent.
A claim to reflect reality, no longer to shape it. But this gesture of reflecting does shape reality. To provide sovereignty this giveness is to shape reality, is to perform a deathknell, is to cut off the possibility for indigenous people.
National Constitution and Treaties: They represent the consolidation of sovereignty as an internal idea, and its exportation or movement to the global and to the borders of nation-states, as the site where its open, or contested.
Begin this section with your UN testimony
13. The PROGRESSIVE MYTH? THE BEGINNING OF THE OBSCENE
To analyze and make intellectual judgments about sovereignty for these communities, one must leave this shell of the formal and be prepared to interrogate the obscene world of political meanings.
Work as to the mechanics of sovereignty, such as its production are relegated to a pathetic line of intellectual inquiry,
American flags on Guam should be sold with large signs that read this gem from Murphy, “
he wanders so far into the obscene and violent side of America’s presence on Guam, he actually ends up revealing far more of America’s colonial character then
in the Pacific Daily News
Even though this language ends up making almost vile or disingenuous the language of Americaness and American devotionalism
This makes Guam’s patriotism towards the United States seems almost disgusting and incredibly stupid.
They bought us, we are their’s.
14. What next, what type of definition of sovereignty then?
settler colonial constitutions, such as the
the doctrine of discovery.
Block the idea of the nation’s emergence as being founded from a series of primordial and savage acts of theft and displacement.
the generally violent, chaotic, unjust origin
which can thus stand in, blocking the view of
Treaties as signifiers of the already dependent status of Native Americans from Barker
Joe Murphy and his katta nu Patti Garrido
(Sovereignty Matters article)
After this, mention Krasner authority vs. control. A clear instance where authority = control. A shell which insulates those already in control, reducing those who aren’t to minority discontent or irregular irrelevant exceptions.
The insoncistency of their origins, the idea that nothing substaintive, nothing sovereign was there before us.
Doctrine of discovery. They need to be forgotten or cast aside in order to complete that obfuscation of not just the origin of sovereignty (the huge lie-filled tale for indigenous people (treaties)), but also the violent origin of the modern world.
this sort of claim that America owns Guam and that it exists as their property, weapon or whatever
That the claims of all nations, despite the piles of books and articles which assert a giveness and a necessity of sovereignty, their claims are never secure, but are always contested by ghosts,
The definition, sovereignty is haunted, by peoples around the world, by places such as Guam.
For these sites, sovereignty is precisely that smirking, empty promise.
perhaps because of its lack of power, lack of sovereignty, appears as something empty or ghostly.
That the appearance of something as powerless has everything to do with that whic
To take this further,
That sovereignty and the nation-state form it props up,
Sovereignty, as the United States is filled through the emptiness of Guam. Both are made “sovereign” through that gesture.