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To bring the sea quite round them: On the lives and deaths of islands.


Going back to Thomas Moore's Utopia, I realized the effort the founder of Utopia put into making it an island. It seems we like the idea of a complete and perfected realm. If a territory is too complicated, if we can't see the borders and boundaries of it, then we somehow give up and think 'this will never be perfectable.' There's something about the smallness and completeness of an island. And it has to be reasonably small. Australia is an island, but it isn't utopia.

Geographer Alastair Bonnett explores the births, lives and deaths of islands on planet Earth - as cockpits of global capital and emerging sites of military power, as spaces of refuge and accumulation, and as enduring reminders of our desire for a utopia just beyond our shores.

Alastair is author of Elsewhere: A Journey into our Age of Islands from University of Chicago Press.

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Alastair Bonnett

Alastair Bonnett is a writer and professor of social geography at Newcastle University.


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