Introduction: On Island Futures

  • Daniel NilesEmail author
  • Godfrey Baldacchino
Part of the Global Environmental Studies book series (GENVST)


If the world is composed of seamless flows of matter and energy, of messy bundles and movements, of unceasing change and expansive diversity, islands can help us to perceive how this flux is resolved in particular places. Since the revealing fieldwork of Charles Darwin (1859) and Alfred Wallace (1880), islands have allowed and encouraged the astute observer to conceive of and describe “biogeography”: how land, climate, weather, flora and fauna exist in concert and co-partake in the struggle for life, and how the human mind has envisaged, and the human hand has affected, these features through time (e.g. Grove 1995). In this light, islands are hardly insular and ought not be studied in isolation. Rather, they exist in the open, as iterations, and offer privileged glimpses of quintessentially fluid “entanglements of life” (Ingold 2008). They invite comparative study and offer lessons of particular experience and of natural and cultural history more generally (Baldacchino 2004).


Ecological Integrity Small Island Develop State Island Community Island Society Cultural Heritage Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Baldacchino G (2004) The coming of age of island studies. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 95(3):272–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baldacchino G (2010) Island enclaves: offshoring, creative governance and subnational island jurisdictions. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal and KingstonGoogle Scholar
  3. Darwin C (1859/1979) On the origins of species by means of natural selection, or of the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. Avenel Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Deleuze G (2004) Desert islands and other texts: 1953–1974. Semiotext(e), ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. Gillis JR (2004) Islands of the mind: how the human imagination created the Atlantic world. Palgrave Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Gillis JR (2007) Island sojourns. Geogr Rev 97(2):274–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Grove RH (1995) Green imperialism: colonial expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the origins of environmentalism: 1600–1860. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. Ingold T (2008) Bindings against boundaries: entanglements of life in an open world. Environ Plan A 40(8):1796–1810Google Scholar
  9. Krueger R, Gibbs D (eds) (2007) The sustainable development paradox. Guilford, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Latour B (1999) Pandora’s hope: essays on the reality of science studies. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  11. Massey D (2005) For space. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Max-Neef MA (2005) Foundations of transdisciplinarity. Ecol Econ 53:5–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Morgan K (2004) The exaggerated death of geography: learning, proximity and territorial innovation systems. J Econ Geogr 4(1):3–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Niles D (2009) Social movements: slow places, fast movements and the making of contemporary rurality’. In: Walter L (ed) Critical food issues: problems and state-of-the-art solutions worldwide, vol 2. Society, culture, and ethics. Praeger, Santa Barbara, CA, pp 139–154Google Scholar
  15. Percy DM, Blackmore S, Cronk QCB (2007) Island flora. In: Baldacchino G (ed) A world of islands: an island studies reader. Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island and Agenda Academic, Charlottetown, Canada and Luqa, Malta, pp 175–198Google Scholar
  16. RIHN (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature) (2010) 2010–2011 Prospectus. RIHN, KyotoGoogle Scholar
  17. Tachimoto N (2008) Introduction: global humanics of the environment: building a design for futurability. In: Tachimoto N (ed) Global humanics of the environment. Working paper no. 1. Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, pp 5–10Google Scholar
  18. Tachimoto N, Niles D (2010) Humanics: an approach to transdisciplinary environmental studies. RIHN working paper, RIHN, KyotoGoogle Scholar
  19. Wallace A (1880/1975) Island life, or the phenomena and causes of insular faunas and floras, including a revision and attempted solution to the problem of geological climates. AMS Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKita-kuJapan
  2. 2.University of Prince Edward IslandCharlottetownCanada

Personalised recommendations