• Beate M. W. Ratter


Islands are considered highly vulnerable to natural hazards and external stressors due to direct exposure, limited space and insufficient resources for building social and ecological resilience. Throughout the development of the global economy, they have been instrumentalised in a territorial and strategic ping-pong game yet also come to represent important nodes in global economic and social networks. These outposts of globalisation have not just been oppressed but also made good use of their singularities and assets. A Geography of Islands is tasked with analysing the relativity and relationality of space and place. A gestaltwechsel is called for, differentiating between external island ascriptions and almost fossilised internal stereotypes such as that of victimhood. Islands are agents capable of creatively using their assets.


Space-place relation Island spatiality Globalisation Geopolitics Maritime conflict Vulnerability Resilience Blue growth Geo-symbols 


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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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