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Politics, Development and Security in Oceania

Politics, Development and Security in Oceania

David Hegarty
Darrell Tryon
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Politics, Development and Security in Oceania
    Book Description:

    The chapters in this volume canvass political change and development across the Pacific Islands from a variety of perspectives, each contributing to the analysis of a region growing in complexity and in confidence. They fall neatly into three sections: Oceania and its Inheritance; Oceania – Current Needs and Challenges; and Oceania and its Wider Setting. The new states of the Pacific have demonstrated considerable resilience, and in many cases, an extraordinary capacity to bounce back from difficulty and to maintain optimism for the future. The continuing professionalisation of public management across the region is building on that tradition. The growth of civil society organisations is also beginning to play a positive role in policy and implementation. Donors are becoming more coherent in their strategies, more attuned to the realities of generating development outcomes in small island states, and are beginning to acknowledge and map progress. This book explores these themes of governance, development and security that signal both continuity and change in the Pacific’s pattern of islands.

    eISBN: 978-1-922144-87-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Tables and figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. The Pacific Islands Map
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Opening Address to ‘Politics, Development and Security in Oceania’ International Colloquium, Noumea
    (pp. xvii-xx)
    Philippe Gomès

    In my Inaugural Address on August 31, 2009 I spoke on behalf of the whole government which I have the honour to preside, and, among other things, I said this:

    The sovereignty that we share with the state includes powers regarding international and regional relationships. The Noumea Agreement has not been fully implemented yet and its potential has not been fully tapped in this area. Today we have to speak in the name of this country in the Pacific area.

    This goes to show that you are most welcome here in Noumea, New Caledonia, a land where the word is...

  9. Introduction

    • 1. A Changing Oceania
      (pp. 3-26)
      David Hegarty

      As the first decade of the 21st century drew to a close – and morphed into the second – it had become obvious that in the broad Asia-Pacific region dramatic political, strategic and socio-economic change was underway. A ‘power shift’ was the description applied by strategic affairs specialist, Professor Hugh White of The Australian National University, in which as Asia’s ‘strategic plates shift’ a new Asian power balance arises requiring all states to negotiate a relationship with China. The productivity revolution that is transforming China, White asserts, is ‘reordering the world’. Asia and the region will become more contested over the next...

  10. Oceania and its Inheritance

    • 2. Post-Colonial Political Institutions in the South Pacific Islands: A Survey
      (pp. 29-50)
      Jon Fraenkel

      After decolonisation, the new Pacific nations mostly experienced a brief honeymoon period, presided over by a generation of relatively strong national leaders; Fiji’s Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, PNG’s Michael Somare, Vanuatu’s Walter Lini, Amata Kabua in Marshall Islands, Ieremai Tabai in Kiribati or Nauru’s Hammer de Roburt. The late 1980s and 1990s saw the demise of that initial post-colonial optimism. Fiji witnessed its first coup in 1987, and a year later the Bougainville civil war began in earnest. New Caledonia erupted into conflict in the mid-1980s until tensions were calmed by the 1988 Matignon and then 1998 Noumea Accords. Vanuatu’s...

    • 3. The Military in Post-Colonial Fiji
      (pp. 51-56)
      Jone Baledrokadroka

      Fiji’s military has become an all pervasive institution of politics in the small Pacific island nation state. The military’s traditional hard security role has merged with a politically nuanced human security role. The present state of Fiji’s political instability is related to the role expansion of Fiji’s military since Independence. The expansion has been marked by an over-emphasis on non-core activities such as nation building, peacekeeping and internal security. This has had a deleterious effect on the political stability of the nation.

      Why and how has this development taken place? Since cession in 1874 the patriotic adage of For God,...

    • 4. The Political Roles of the Fiji Military: A Brief History of the Chiefs’ Warriors, Heroes of the World Wars, Peacekeepers and Dictators
      (pp. 57-68)
      Hélène Goiran

      The military history of Fiji is as ancient as her History. In pre-colonial times, the warriors were the necessary implements of the chiefly power. The Chiefs gained or held authority and influence through the victories of their fighters. War was the natural occupation of men, who were all supposed to fight to protect the community. Some of them were dedicated fighters. Warfare training was a main part of young males’ formation. The importance of the social role of the warriors was such that, like the nobles, they were buried with their wives. Moreover, the gods wanted human sacrifice and the...

    • 5. One Party State: The Samoan Experience
      (pp. 69-76)
      Afamasaga Toleafoa

      Samoa is often lauded for its political and social stability. In fact, since 1985, Samoa has had no change in government with one political party, the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), holding office continuously. Only two changes of prime ministers have taken place during that time and the HRPP government has also governed with overwhelmingly large majorities in parliament. At a time when much of the region has experienced varying degrees of political instability in the form of military coups, short lived governments and even violence and civil disobedience, Samoa is seen by many as a beacon of stability and...

    • 6. Instability and Stability in New Caledonia
      (pp. 77-82)
      Jean-Yves Faberon

      The preamble to the Noumea Agreement establishes a principle, namely consensus through sharing: ‘The past was colonisation time. The present is the time for sharing and reaching a new balance. The future must be the time for an identity, in a common destiny.’

      This statement, which is shot through with the spirit of sharing, was approved by voters in New Caledonia in the November 1998 election, with a 72 per cent majority. But the road to this common result has been a long one.

      Even before the French landed in New Caledonia, Kanaks were far from being united. Their languages...

    • 7. Democracy in French Polynesia
      (pp. 83-96)
      Sémir Al Wardi

      Polynesia is an ‘overseas community’ within the French Republic. French Polynesian political culture differs considerably from that of the Republic and political instability is one of its major characteristics. Indeed, an ‘overseas community’ is a ‘special’ community essentially because, unlike the other communities, the laws of the Republic apply to it only rarely, according to the principle of legislative speciality;¹ above all this territory has the right to independence. Therefore since former colonies can break away, political life revolves around this right to independence, which inevitably affects its relations with France. So, political life divides between separatists and autonomists even...

  11. Oceania:: Current Needs and Challenges

    • 8. Stability, Security and Development in Oceania: Whose Definitions?
      (pp. 99-126)
      Treva D. Braun

      Discussions at the most influential levels in the Pacific on stability, security and development are still heavily skewed towards traditionalist masculine understandings of these terms. High level discussions on development, as reflected in their resulting frameworks and resource allocations, focus on economic and public service delivery models, and stability and security are understood primarily as the absence of public financial and economic uncertainty and public or external threats and conflict. While work in those areas is clearly important, the longstanding and now incontrovertible knowledge is that no discussion on these topics can proceed meaningfully without full attention being paid to...

    • 9. Millennium Development Goals and the Pacific
      (pp. 127-138)
      Linda Petersen

      Since signing up to and endorsing the Millennium Declaration in 2000, Pacific island countries have – some more than others – used the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) as a measure of development progress both at national and regional level. United Nations development agencies working in the Pacific have been the main driving force for using the MDG to measure and track development progress in the Pacific but more recently, there has been a stronger push from the larger metropolitan Pacific countries towards this approach, in particular Australia.

      This brief paper provides an overview of the regional MDG 2004 report compiled by the...

    • 10. Leading the March for Gender Equality? Women Leaders in the Public Services of Samoa and Solomon Islands
      (pp. 139-146)
      Asenati Liki Chan Tung

      ‘Women in leadership’ has been a focus of gender-equality advocacy work in the Pacific region over the last two decades. Much of this work has followed a global push for a higher participation of women in parliaments. Efforts by Pacific women’s civil society groups especially have concentrated on policy advocacy, strategies and training for women’s political participation. This emphasis however has to a large extent sidelined attention to other arenas of government, namely the public sector, where women’s leadership is also prominent. Women’s appointment to senior government positions such as heads of ministries or divisions within ministries has been a...

    • 11. Young People Creating the Future Today: Youth Development in the Pacific
      (pp. 147-152)
      Rose Maebiru

      The projections of an annual growth rate of 2.2 per cent of the youth population in the region will continue to demand creative and innovative ways of working with young women and men to overcome issues of accessing integrated and quality education, unemployment, unhealthy lifestyles and behaviours, conflict and violence, leadership and participation, gender inequality to name a few.

      The Pacific region has come a long way in its endeavours to unleashing the potential of young women and men to become leaders and custodians of our societies. With a mean age of 21 years for most Pacific island countries, the...

    • 12. Tourism Issues in the Pacific
      (pp. 153-164)
      Susana Taua’a

      This paper attempts to highlight some real and perceived issues concerning tourism in the region. There are three broad areas in which the industry has impacted strongly: social, economic and environmental. The nature and character of the industry in the Pacific is also defined in terms of these three spheres of influence. The key to understanding tourism in the region is a recognition that both the industry and its context, global and regional, are in a state of profound transition. There is a need to understand the changes taking place and the reasons for these changes so that the industry...

    • 13. Rural Development: Back on the Agenda in the Western Pacific?
      (pp. 165-176)
      Matthew G. Allen

      After decades of neglect, agriculture and rural development are very much back on the global development aid agenda. The revival of donor interest in agriculture and rural development has been enabled by broader shifts in aid priorities and delivery mechanisms, particularly the move from the structural adjustment programs of the 1980s and 1990s to the local and community-level engagement strategies that increasingly characterise contemporary aid programming. The Millennium Development Goals, the global food crisis, and the 2008 World Development Report – which had as its theme ‘Agriculture for Development’ – have also variously contributed to the renewed donor impetus to agriculture and...

  12. Oceania and its Wider Setting

    • 14. Regionalism: Performance and Promise
      (pp. 179-194)

      From the outset, some qualifications are necessary. As a regional public servant involved in coordinating the implementation of some initiatives in the Pacific Plan, this chapter may be biased towards regional integration. The topic suggests several things. One is that the overall energy put into regional integration has been somewhat mixed. The perceived returns on investment in regional integration have not been delivered. Therefore, is it really worth the trouble in investment? Moreover, the performance of regionalism, however that is defined, needs to be examined and laid out for all stakeholders to assess. What has regionalism achieved? What are the...

    • 15. How Relevant are European Models of Government to Pacific Island States?
      (pp. 195-204)
      Jon Fraenkel

      Around the Pacific Islands region, one often hears models of government from elsewhere extolled as solutions to various perceived or real political problems. Models of institutions back home are frequently carried around in the back of the heads of diplomats, seconded advisors and well-paid consultants from overseas and depicted as solutions to every political difficulty in the Pacific.

      I was at a workshop organised by Papua New Guinea’s Commission on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates a few weeks ago in Gaire, outside Port Moresby. This was aimed at discussing feasible alternatives in the wake of a July 2010...

    • 16. Regional Security and the Major Powers: An Overview
      (pp. 205-220)
      James Bunce

      The South Pacific region has experienced an increasing level of instability in the years since the 1980s. This paper provides an overview of the current state of regional security in the South Pacific region. It does so by examining the role of the major external powers in fostering stability both within regional states, and in promoting security in a wider regional sense (or not, as the case may be). It does not seek to present a comprehensive overview of the state of regional stability though – that is significantly beyond the scope of this paper. Instead, this paper will examine the...