For nearly fifty years, US government officials have identified Belau, in western Micronesia, as a key strategic site and have implemented administrative policies designed to maintain permanent access to Belau's land, reefs and waters for military purposes. Elder women placed themselves at the forefront of opposition to these policies, and, as part of oppositional efforts, successfully entered international political arenas. Speaking to Power moves beyond examining the impact of militarism and colonial administrative policy in Belau and draws on feminist poststructural analysis to explore the fluidity of contests in constructions of "gender," "politics," and "tradition" during US administration in Belau.
"This very engaging and committed book takes great pains to paint a picture of the political situation in Belau as recounted mainly by a woman who for several years has been involved in a struggle to block U.S. attempts to ratify a 'Compact of Free Association.' … [The authors'] attempts to expose the Compact as the harbinger of nukes rather than money is a salutary tale for us all." -- American Anthropologist