Socio-spatial and Globalised Economies

  • Beate M. W. Ratter


This chapter is concerned with outposts of globalisation from an economic point of view, i.e. the subjectivation of islands and the resulting spatial reorganisation. Using selected examples (the historical sugar trade, the recent financial business and tourism), the chapter highlights how islands have contributed to the global economy and discusses what they have gained in return. Establishing an export-oriented agrarian economy led to comprehensive ecological change and the full-scale reorganisation of society. Connecting to the global financial sector by means of offshore financial centres and tax havens once again changed the organisation of space, as did international tourism which is both a blessing and curse. The problems of delimitation and disadvantageous economies of scale are countered by specific island assets such as favourable locations, connectivity, regional cooperation and also economic particularities in island branding and niche economies.


Plantation economy Offshore financial centres Tourism Migration Regional cooperation Niche economy Spatial structure Spatial organisation Socio-spatiality Connectivity Isolation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beate M. W. Ratter
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Coastal ResearchHelmholtz Zentrum GeesthachtGeesthachtGermany

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