Weird IR pp 117-129 | Cite as

Island Living Ain’t Easy



Chapter eight presents the author’s research on island disputes. Territorial disputes are the most common casus belli, yet the author demonstrates that island disputes are less likely to lead to war than continental territorial disputes. Hence, island disputes are anomalous cases of territorial disputes. This chapter covers the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute, the South China Sea islands disputes, and the cordial “Whiskey War” dispute between Canada and Denmark.


Islands Dispute USAUnited States NATONATO Allies Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Okinawa 
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References and Suggested Readings

  1. “ASDF Scrambles Against China Planes at Record Number,” Japan Times, October 19, 2015.
  2. Hensel, Paul. “Territory: Theory and Evidence on Geography and Conflict,” in John Vasquez, editor, What do We Know About War? New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000: 57–85.Google Scholar
  3. Hensel, Paul R., et al. “Bones of Contention: Comparing Territorial, Maritime, and River Issues,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 52, no. 1 (February, 2008): 117–143.Google Scholar
  4. “New City in Troubled Waters,” Radio Free Asia, July 7, 2012.
  5. Pugliese, Giulio, and Aurelio Insisa. Sino-Japanese Power Politics: Might, Money, and Minds. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.Google Scholar
  6. Ruwitch, John. “Satellites and Seafood: China Keeps Fishing Fleet Connected in Disputed Waters,” Reuters, July 27, 2014.
  7. Slodkowski, Antoni. “How Debts and Double-Dealing Sparked Japan-China Islets Row,” Reuters, November 11, 2012.
  8. Streich, Philip. “Territory and Conflict: Island Disputes vs. Continental Disputes,” South China Sea Think Tank Issue Briefings 17 (2017).
  9. Torode, Greg. “China Begins New Work on Disputed South China Sea island,” Reuters, March 14, 2017.
  10. Townshend, Ashley. “The Strategic Significance of China’s Woody Island Power Play,” The National Interest, March 1, 2016.
  11. Underhill, Kevin. “The Guano Islands Act,” Washington Post, July 8, 2014.
  12. United Nations. “United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982).”
  13. Vasquez, John, and Marie Henehan (2001), “Territorial Disputes and the Probability of War, 1816–1992,” Journal of Peace Research 38, no. 2: 123–138.Google Scholar
  14. Yoshikawa Yukie. “Okinotorishima: Just the Tip of the Iceberg,” Harvard Asian Quarterly 9, no. 4 (2005): 51–61.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of Human SciencesOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan

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