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Island Dynamics Blog Moves to

13 June 2012

The Island Dynamics Blog is moving to a new website, one which offers us greater opportunities to integrate the blog with other island studies content.

The blog will now be located at The version of the Island Dynamics Blog present at will be shut down at the end of June 2012. Anyone currently subscribed to the blog will need, unfortunately, to re-subscribe to the RSS feed at


Announcing: Local Actions in a Global Context

17 December 2011

Local Actions in a Global Context: Paradiplomacy by Subnational Jurisdictions

15-17 January 2013, Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway)

We are pleased to announce a new Island Dynamics conference, Local Actions in a Global Context. This event is a collaboration of the Centre for Democratic Network Governance, Roskilde University; the Island Studies Program, National Taiwan Normal University; and the Institution for Marine & Island Cultures, Mokpo National University.

Local Actions in a Global Context will consider how subnational jurisdictions use paradiplomacy to seek influence beyond their borders. As globalisation reduces the ability of national governments to independently implement effective policies, subnational jurisdictions – towns, cities, and regions – are finding that sovereignty is no longer essential for entrance to the global stage. Local governments and unrecognised states are using paradiplomacy and informal diplomacy to promote their interests internationally in such areas as trade, culture, tourism, politics, and environment.

Paradiplomacy presents concerns as well as opportunities. Local governments may lack the vital skills and democratic structures to engage competently and responsibly in a global context. Multilevel governance could also complicate international decision-making and reinforce disparities of wealth.

This conference will consider the implications of subnational and unrecognised jurisdictions exercising foreign policy and how such actions could benefit and harm communities and the world at large. It will also explore the apparatuses of paradiplomacy (tourism offices, trade boards, etc.) and the nature of interactions between subnational jurisdictions and other actors. Globalisation and governance experts Jon Pierre and Eric Clark will be keynote speakers.

For more information and to see the call for papers (deadline 1 June 2012), please visit the conference website.

Announcing: Performing Island Identities

9 July 2011

Island Dynamics is organising an conference on island performance traditions that will take place in Gazimağusa (Famagusta), North Cyprus on 19-21 November 2012. Performing Island Identities: Music, Dance, Folk Theatre, Storytelling, and Performance Traditions will bring together international researchers to discuss how islands function as meeting places and refuges for performance traditions as well as how these traditions influence local identity.


Performing Island Identities is a collaboration of the Center for Cyprus Studies of Eastern Mediterranean University and the Center for Island Studies of the Institute for Anthropological Research (Croatia). Over the coming months, the Island Dynamics Blog will act as a forum to discuss elements of and issues involving this conference. For more information on the event and to learn how to submit a paper proposal, please visit the conference website.

Island Novels

22 June 2011

Today’s Guardian has a pleasant little article on the Icelandic author Sjón’s top 10 island-based novels.

Political Festival in Bornholm

15 June 2011

Today marks the start of Allinge: Folkemødet on the Danish island of Bornholm. Inspired by the annual Almedalsugen in Gotland, Sweden this represents an attempt to use islandness as a tool to create better links between national politicians and the general public. The festival will include over 200 talks and events concerning political issues and will bring in thousands of participants.

I am usually wary of complimenting the initiatives of the ruling right-leaning Venstre-Konservative government in Denmark – Life as an immigrant in Denmark gives one a special perspective. This case, however, is a special one. Not only will the economy of Bornholm benefit from 5000 additional visitors throughout the week, but the festival will also highlight a potential strength of small island communities, namely their ability to provide self-contained sites for broader political dialogue.

Just as tourists may feel a psychological attraction to the geographical boundedness of islands, there is something to be said for using an island location to psychologically contain a meeting of major political leaders and grassroots activitists.

Official website for the festival: Allinge: Folkemødet

Politiken article on the festival: ‘Bornholm fyrer op under dansk politik’

– Adam Grydehøj

Malta Divorce Referendum

30 May 2011

Yesterday, the “yes” camp won a non-binding referendum in Malta to legalise divorce. Should this decision be reflected by legislation in parliament, the Philippines will become the only country in which divorce in all forms remains illegal.

The debate over divorce, which has split the Maltese public, was often waged on both sides as a fight over the place of tradition and the Catholic Church in Maltese society.





Follow Up on the 2nd Island Dynamics Conference

29 May 2011

The 2nd Island Dynamics Conference took place in Malta on 11-15 May, featuring over 100 presenters from 39 countries and self-governing jurisdictions.

The conference covered a wide range of issues in island studies and was blessed with three fantastic keynote speeches by David Lowenthal, Godfrey Baldacchino, and Henry Glassie. In the final session of the conference, participants discussed the future for Island Dynamics and the ways in which they would like future Island Dynamics events to be organised. Topics discussed included different kinds of presentations at conferences, more discussion forums, and ways of getting the most from our commitment to interdisciplinary research.

In fact, interdisciplinarity is the key theme of the 3rd Island Dynamics Conference, taking place in Mariehamn, Åland on 7-12 May 2013.

If you weren’t able to make it to the discussion session at the conference a few weeks ago, go ahead and post your recommendations here. What could we do to make Island Dynamics better? What are our strengths and weaknesses?