Book Chapter: Managing the impacts of openness on island economies

Lay Summary 

Small-island and remote jurisdictions are wrestling with the demands of sub-jurisdictional local and regional economic planning and development to build competitive advantage, foster cluster development, enhance human capital, and tailor key infrastructure. Simultaneously, they need to navigate national and international market conditions, political frameworks, and the diverse strategies of multinational corporations. Economic
development strategies and concomitant governance structures need to combine this “looking in/looking out” capacity. At the same time, jurisdictions can often utilize their marginal status within larger jurisdictions to stretch their autonomy and jurisdictional capacity to foster economic development. Key capacities within jurisdictions can also be managed to maximize development opportunities. These include decentralization of fiscal and human resources, allocation of legal authority, fostering democratic accountability and legitimacy, matching sub-jurisdictional mandates with appropriate geographic scale, and creating the conditions for sufficient time for strategies to have impact.
With a traditionally natural-resource-dependent economy, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) has always been exposed to global commodity prices, externally controlled corporations, and imperial and national government decisionmaking ― making for a good case study in creating “looking in/looking out” capacity and exploiting their jurisdictional resources effectively. Efforts to decentralize decisionmaking, coordinate federal-provincial regulation of natural resources, and the role of the university demonstrate key mechanisms for NL ― and other island and remote jurisdictions ― to effectively manage their governance capacity.


In Randall, J.E. (Ed.) (2018). The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Islands Economic Cooperation Forum: Annual Report on Global Islands 2017. Charlottetown: Island Studies Press.

The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development
St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador
Regional Economic Development
Small Island Societies
Rural Development
Industry Sectors 
Public Administration
Start date 
25 Jan 2018