The city‐island‐state, wounding cascade and multi‐level vulnerability explored through the lens of Malta

Main, Geoff and Schembri, John and Speake, Janet and Gauci, Ritienne and Chester, David (2021) The city‐island‐state, wounding cascade and multi‐level vulnerability explored through the lens of Malta. Area. ISSN 0004-0894

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In this paper, we introduce the concept of “city‐island‐state” into a discussion of small highly urbanised islands. We place the “city” at the forefront of our analysis by bringing together the geographies of the “city” and “state”, together with a wider discussion of factors that may cause both the wounding of the city and increase the precariousness of the “island”. We apply this concept to the advanced city‐island‐state of Malta (Central Mediterranean), which is a densely populated, urbanised small island archipelago with ca. 500,000 inhabitants and operates as a single city with: an urban core; suburbs and a rural hinterland which is rapidly decreasing in size. This city‐island‐state is frequently considered as being “safe” from external geophysical, climatic and anthropogenic wounding, but, in reality, Malta, as a city, an island, and an independent nation‐state, is faced with multiple internal and external pressures that increase its precariousness and vulnerability to such externalities. Some of these are socio/economic, but others are environmental. We argue that the potential for wounding is particularly marked in Malta, is exacerbated by the contemporary globalised neoliberal world of flows and interconnectivities and that this represents a multi‐level wounding cascade: wounding the city, wounds the island and, by extension, the state.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. The final edited and typeset version of record will appear in the future at
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Matthew Adams
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2021 13:19
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2021 13:19

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