Introduction to the Geography of Small Islands

This chapter introduces the phenomenon of islands as an object of geographical research. It focuses on the specialities and singularities of islands, opening up a field of tension between internal and external views and questioning existing stereotypes on vulnerability and romantic ascriptions to islands within this. Space is a significant factor of influence in terms of the mutual relationship between space and society, in the sense of analysing and assessing the significance of space for society and, in return, the significance of societal relations for the development of space. The development of islands is influenced by the spatial categories of isolation, distance/remoteness, size/smallness and insularity/islandness, as well as networking/connectedness, and not only within the context of ongoing globalisation.