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Paradise Islands? Island States and the provision of environmental goods

Journal article
Authors Sverker C. Jagers
Marina Povitkina
Martin Sjöstedt
Aksel Sundström
Published in Sustainability
Volume 8
Issue 3
Pages 285
ISSN 2071-1050
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 285
Language en
Links www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/3/285/html
Keywords island states; environmental performance; democracy; institutional quality
Subject categories Political Science

Abstract

Island states have been shown to outperform continental states on a number of large-scale coordination-related outcomes, such as levels of democracy and institutional quality. The argument developed and tested in this article contends that the same kind of logic may apply to islands’ environmental performance, too. However, the empirical analysis shows mixed results. Among the 105 environmental outcomes that we analyzed, being an island only has a positive impact on 20 of them. For example, island states tend to outcompete continental states with respect to several indicators related to water quality but not in aspects related to biodiversity, protected areas, or environmental regulations. In addition, the causal factors previously suggested to make islands outperform continental states in terms of coordination have weak explanatory power in predicting islands’ environmental performance. We conclude the paper by discussing how these interesting findings can be further explored.

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