University Of Tasmania

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Islandness and struggles over development: A Tasmanian case study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 21:40 authored by Elaine StratfordElaine Stratford
This paper seeks to explore two propositions: that islands are constitutive of emotional geographies that may be described as islandness; and that islandness could be a key ontological resource among those who govern (on) islands, particularly where economic development activities generate deep-seated divisions. The paper also responds to two claims: one that localized studies are needed to augment the many that exist of ‘globalization from above’; the other that island studies are marginal in geography in the same way that islands seem peripheral to continents. I address these matters with reference to research about major reforms to fiscal and environmental policy in Tasmania, Australia’s only island state. There, deep divisions exist about the effects on community and place of various processes of economic globalization and ecological modernization, especially those involving resource-extractive industries such as forestry. Key proponents of the reform process were asked to reflect on how their work was informed by Tasmania’s status as both a sub-national jurisdiction of Australia and an island; and were invited to ponder the State’s political, economic and environmental position then and now. Interesting on its own terms as a study of political geographies at the microscale, the case also enables general conjecture about the capacity of islandness to generate spaces of rapprochement and craft political practices for agonistic ends.


Publication title

Political Geography








School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

The definitive published version is available online at:

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified

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