Journal of the Indian Ocean Region Special Issue

Southwest Indian Ocean Islands: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development, Security and Regional Cooperation

Journal of the Indian Ocean Region

The Southwest Indian Ocean is characterized by the presence of several islands grouped into four island states (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles), three French island territories (Réunion, Mayotte and the Scattered Islands), as well as the British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago). These disputed island entities are different one from the others in many ways, including by their size, culture, socio-economic context and political status. On the other hand, they share certain common traits that differentiate them from the neighboring states of the African continent, such as insularity, the historical importance of France, the Francophonie, and their regrouping in the Indian Ocean Commission (with the exception of Mayotte, the Chagos Archipelago and the Scattered Islands). Of all the regional systems of the Indian Ocean, it is undoubtedly the least known and recognized.

Yet, the insular community of the Southwest Indian Ocean is now gaining more attention in the context of the new geopolitical situation of the Indian Ocean and the economic and strategic rivalries related to it. In this regard, we note in particular the importance given to maritime security and the hopes placed on the blue economy. But other challenges are also at the heart of the island issues, including those related to the environment (climate change, biodiversity, marine and terrestrial environments), sustainable development (human habitats, renewable energies, transportation, resources management, etc.), and regional integration (regional institution/s, economic integration, cooperation programmes). In this context, the purpose of this issue is to explore the challenges and opportunities for sustainable development, security and regional cooperation in the Southwest Indian Ocean Islands.

This special issue comes at a moment when many local leaders speak of 'Indianoceania' to designate this particular island community of the Southwest Indian Ocean. It is a term that is now gaining ground in some political, media and academic circles in the region. With this proposal, the aim is to develop a greater sense of belonging to the region, to encourage solidarity and cooperation between the different island societies, and to advance regional political and economic integration. In addition, this should also contribute to a better recognition and understanding of this original island community by the outside world, especially in the Indian Ocean. But it is still more of a proposition than a reality that needs to be analyzed and debated in order to clarify its contours, content, potentialities, constraints and challenges. The future will tell us if the term 'Indianoceania' will prevail, but in the meantime, it should be noted that this initiative is evoking the existence of a community of destiny in a region aiming for solidarity, security and prosperity.

For this special issue on the Southwest Indian Ocean Islands, the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region would like to receive proposals on any of the three proposed themes as well as on one, several or all the island entities of the region. We call for proposals of 500 words clearly indicating the theme, the geographical framework, the problematic, and the objectives of the text, as well as a preliminary title and the names and professional contact details of all authors.

Instructions for Authors

Submission deadlines:

Abstracts: 15 June 2018
Full paper: 30 September 2018
Publication in hard copy: March 2019

Please submit your proposal before June 15th, 2018 to the Commissioning Editor of the journal: Dr. Adela Alfonsi:

Potential contributors can access the JIOR website at:

For additional information on this call for papers and the Special Edition, please contact the Leading Guest Editor: Prof. Christian Bouchard:

Editorial information

  • Guest editor: Christian Bouchard, Larentian University (
  • Guest editor: Shafick Osman, Florida International University
  • Guest editor: Jean-Michel Jauze, Université de La Réunion,
  • Guest editor: Christiane Rafidinarivo, Université de La Réunion/ CEVIPOF CNRS Sciences Po Paris