Political Landscapes of Mediterranean Islands
What is meant by political landscapes?
All landscapes, because they have been moulded by human action, are to some extent political. This is particularly evident in the Mediterranean Basin, a crossroad where civilisations have coalesced and often clashed. Although the larger of the Mediterranean Islands have been the home centres of great civilisations (Chapters 3 and 5) during prehistoric times, they have been unable to resist the repeated invasions of mainland-based powers that battled successively for political and commercial authority. The strategic location of the islands meant that they were ideal for defence, trade and exploitation of natural resources and therefore an attraction to outsiders. The Mediterranean Islands discussed herein have been used as temporary and/or permanent bases of world powers, a practice that continues today given that the USA and the UK still retain military bases there. For most of their histories the larger Mediterranean Islands have been in a position of political subservience to an outside power. Some remain powerless in political terms because they have little autonomy from mainland governments (Royle 2001).
KeywordsEuropean Union Cultural Landscape Island State Political Landscape Mediterranean Island
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