No Island is an Island: Participatory Development Planning on the Croatian Islands

No Island is an Island: Participatory Development Planning on the Croatian Islands


The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia

30 April 2014
| Citation



This text provides an overview of the history of attempts to introduce participatory development planning on the Croatian islands. Within the study of islands, there has been little attention to islands in countries undergo-ing post-socialist transition. Similarly, within the study of post-socialist strategic development planning, there has been almost no attention to islands. This study addresses both the resilience of islands and their height-ened susceptibility to change, borrowing a periodisation from political economies of contemporary Croatia which emphasise the significance of multiple transitions. The text explores island development within socialist Yugoslavia, with islands subsumed within wider processes of industrialisation, urbanisation and, later, coastal tourism. As Croatia’s independence was inextricably linked to war, a crisis-induced authoritarian centralism also mitigated against islanders becoming development subjects. The post-war picture, marked as it is by a slow process of integration into EU norms and practices, shows the gap between the legislative rhetoric and the on the ground practice of participatory development planning. The text concludes that, thus far, only the top down element of strategic planning in terms of island development has been implemented, and this itself in a distorted, contradictory, and highly inconsistent, way.


Croatia, Islands, participation, planning


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