Financialization, sustainability and the right to the island: A critique of acronym models of island development

The penetration of financialization into the biocultural geographies of islands builds upon processes of commodification and privatization of environments, entailing enclosures of resource commons, environmental destruction and displacement of people, their livelihoods, knowledge and practices, with implications for sustainability. Against this background I critique the growing literature on acronym models of island development, arguing for more careful consideration of issues concerning democracy, human rights and sustainability. Drawing on the ‘right to the city’ literature, I highlight the importance of the ‘right to the island’ in an effort to move beyond the policy imperatives of MIRAB, SITE and PROFIT. Exercising the right to the island involves cultivating radically pluralistic democracy through struggles for alternative island futures. In so doing it problematizes what it means to develop and achieve sustainability.

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