Situating island resilience

Yunzi Zhang, Can-Seng Ooi, Gemma Sou, Dirk Steenbergen, Cristina Alexandra Trifan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Resilience as a complex concept has been recognized and employed to strategize mitigation policies and processes during disruptive events. Island resilience in particular is used to frame islanders and their societies as vulnerable entities combating uncertainties with limited resources and capacities. On the one hand, public discourse on island nations tend to centre around victimhood amid disasters; on the other hand, islands are portrayed as peaceful and idyllic paradise during regular times. This opening chapter uses the term “imaginary” to signify such discursive constructs that one’s understanding of island societies. We first outline the conceptual framing around the evolution of resilience. Then we elaborate on four prominent “imaginaries” of Small Island Developing States and island societies in general. By unpacking the term ''imaginary'', we aim to expose the dominant discursive framing of island societies to elucidate constructive avenues for locally owned progress and development in an increasingly variable and glocalized world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIslands and Resilience
Subtitle of host publicationExperiences from the Pandemic Era
EditorsCan-Seng Ooi, Yunzi Zhang, Cristina Alexandra Trifan
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789811999642
ISBN (Print)9789811999666
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2023

Publication series

NameSpringer Briefs on Case Studies of Sustainable Development


  • Resilience
  • Island imaginary
  • Neoliberalism
  • Island paradise
  • Small Island Developing States


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