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Title: Only ten : islands as uncomfortable fragmented polities
Other Titles: The political economy of divided islands
Authors: Baldacchino, Godfrey
Keywords: Islands -- Politics and government
Geopolitics -- Case studies
Divided islands -- Case studies
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Citation: Baldacchino, G. (2013). Only ten: islands as uncomfortable fragmented polities. In G. Baldacchino (Eds.), The political economy of divided islands (pp. 1-17). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Series/Report no.: International political economy;
Abstract: The existence of multiple jurisdictions on distinct continental spaces raises no eyebrows. There are 54 countries in Africa, 50 countries in Europe, 44 in Asia, 23 in North and Central America and 12 in South America. Nor do we habitually consider Africa, North America or South America (let alone Eurasia) as islands, even though — since the carving of the Suez and Panama canals — they would each qualify as pieces of land surrounded by water. Perhaps that is because a continent is often deemed too large to be considered an island. But there is another truism to be considered: that an island deserves a unitary polity. Islands are such special places that they should only be run by, and as, a single administration. How else could one explain Australia, not exactly a small territory, being called an island continent? If Australia is successfully conceptualised as an island — apart from being a continent — this may result not so much by virtue of its size — which is considerable, since it is almost as large as Europe — but by virtue of the fact that it has been, since January 1901, a single country (McMahon 2010).
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