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Technologies of agency and performance: Tasmania Together and the constitution of harmonious island identity


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Stratford, E ORCID: 0000-0001-6273-493X 2006 , 'Technologies of agency and performance: Tasmania Together and the constitution of harmonious island identity' , Geoforum, vol. 37, no. 2 , pp. 273-286 , doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2005.03.001.

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Baldacchino [Baldacchino, G., 2002. Jurisdictional self-reliance for small island territories: considering the partition of Cyprus, The Round Table, 365, 349-360] has argued that the 'troika' of smallness, insularity and peripherality may incline island peoples (rather more than mainlanders?) to question the effects of economic globalization and be especially disposed to innovative approaches to development. He views jurisdictional capacity as integral to that task. Much of the literature on such issues relates to island nations, but this work focuses on Australia's smallest and only island state of Tasmania, and thus on a sub-national jurisdiction. In what follows I explore the effects of an attempt to enrol Tasmanians in the creation and stabilization of a '2020 vision' meant to be global in its reach, to focus on the particular strengths of the island state, and be innovative in advancing sustainable development. Known as Tasmania Together, the 20-year strategic vision outlines diverse economic, social and environmental goals assembled over two years via widespread consultations with the islans's communities of place and interest. For a time Tasmania Together generated significant debate about what it means to be an island people, and whether and to what extent Tasmanians' future will be secured through economic globalization or localized endeavours premised on sustainability principles. Important to Tasmanians as well as to island studies, these rhetorics of social and spatial engagement also have salience beyond the borders of the island state, highlighting larger questions about the technologies of governmentality, agency and the performance of identity.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Stratford, E
Keywords: Governmentality; Actor networks; Sustainability; Economic globalization; Tasmania; Islands
Journal or Publication Title: Geoforum
ISSN: 0016-7185
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2005.03.001
Additional Information:

This paper derives from work funded by the Australian Research Council 2003-2005: Island communities, island rhetoric: sustainable development and the global promise?

The definitive version is available online at

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