Small Islands Security Governance Research Group

From the jurisdictional complexities to the challenges of securing fragmented maritime borders against flows of people, commodities and microbes, small islands engagement with sustainable development and security governance has often been marked by improvisation and creative adaptation. Indeed, as small islands and communities mobilise to develop their economies, secure their borders against threats, and to build resilience to the environmental turbulence occasioned by climate change and evolving harmscapes, they continue to be a prominent arena for development of and experimentation with novel modes of securitization.

Building on this positioning of small islands as spaces whose geopolitical, cultural and environmental specificities challenge scholars and practitioners to rethink received conceptualizations of and approaches to security, this group explores what novel understandings and enactments of sustainable development and security might emerge through engagement with local stakeholders. Our goal is to examine how engagement with small island contexts might challenge scholars and practitioners to develop new and/or modified ways of apprehending sustainability, development and security, that are relevant to small islands policies and practices.

The group brings together a multi-disciplinary team of scholars from around the globe to build networks, engage in dialogue and conduct research intended to advance how security governance in small islands is conceptualised, understood, and approached.

The objectives of the group are to:

  1. Advance understandings of island jurisdictions as spaces with historical and cultural complexities compounded by interfaces with colonialism and other externalities;
  2. Contextualise crime, violence, harm, and victimhood in Small Island Developing States;
  3. Conduct research on various aspects of security governance in small islands informed by understandings of indigenous ontologies, epistemologies, and mobilisations; and
  4. Improve conceptual and evidence bases to inform sustainable development and security agendas in small islands.

Group Leaders

Meet the research group team.