Isolation as Disability and Resource: Considering Sub-national Island Status in the Constitution of the 'New Tasmania'
Stratford, E, Isolation as Disability and Resource: Considering Sub-national Island Status in the Constitution of the 'New Tasmania', The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 95, (386) pp. 575-588. ISSN 0035-8533 (2006) [Refereed Article]
The peoples and governments of island nation-states appear to use isolation as a jurisdictional resource to address the challenges of economic globalization. This tactic is pronounced in relation to tourism and property developments, which have the potential to be especially internally divisive. But what of sub-national island jurisdictions? Australia's foundation is, in part, indebted to British colonial ideas about a commonwealth of increase: its creation as a symmetrical federation (albeit with pronounced asymmetries) reflecting a desire to modulate the effects of central and peripheral economic activity. In this federation isolation is used in particular in the distribution of national funds to six states and two territories - referred to here as sub-national jurisdictions. For example, the island state of Tasmania is perhaps the most marginal of all such sub-national jurisdictions; insular in many ways, remote, detached. Evidence suggests that Tasmanians use isolation in different ways to both stabilize and unsettle the direction of development there. With reference to official attempts to create a 'New Tasmania', typified by an ability to attract substantial investment dollars in tourism and coastal subdivisions, I highlight the effects of conflicts that may arise when isolation and 'islandness' are deployed as tools for economic 'progress' and as characteristics to aid resistance against globalization's homogenizing tendencies to render 'everywhere the same'.