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Condition(s) for Island Autonomy

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The inquiry is focusing on why island autonomy occurs. Our point of departure considers four possible conditions such as geographical distance, ethnicity, GDP/capita and size according to population leading towards island autonomy. We use two sample groups in our study: one encompassing autonomous islands deriving from different parts of the world, with three main islands illustrating what we mean by island autonomy. These consist of the Azores, the Faroe Islands and Isle of Man. The second group consists of so called non-autonomous islands scattered around the world.

The analysis is carried out with a specific technique within the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) family and that is Multi-Value QCA (MVQCA). MVQCA is an extension of the Crisp-Set QCA (CSQCA) and withholds a dichotomous dependent variable, while the possible explanatory variables (independent variables) can have multi-values. As a second technique Fuzzy-Set QCA (FSQCA) is employed as a control technique only. While assessing these techniques we receive combinations of conditions leading to the outcome in question. Results show that with MVQCA we receive four different paths towards island autonomy. Ethnicity as the only explanation is one route towards the outcome. A second path is small or large size. Long geographical distance combined with no ethnic diversity is a third way towards island autonomy. The fourth path is long geographical distance combined with the lower or upper middle income group. All the paths are equally valid.

Affiliations: 1: Researcher, Department of Political Science, Åbo Akademi University, Finland; 2: Researcher, Mid-Sweden University and Åbo Akademi University


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