Book Chapter

Rethinking the vulnerability of small island states: Climate change and development in the Pacific Islands

J Barnett, E Waters

The Palgrave Handbook of International Development | Published : 2016


Small island developing states (SIDS) are often described as ‘vulnerable’ to large-scale economic and environmental forces, explained as a function of their geography and size which is said to make them highly exposed and sensitive to these exogenous stressors, and with little capacity to respond. However, this application of standard development theory to small island states has limited explanatory power. We provide a more nuanced understanding of this issue of island vulnerability through a focus on the risks posed by climate change. We show the way island-centred theories of development give rise to alternative knowledge about vulnerability to climate change, and by extension to other exo..

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