Miranda Forsyth

Miranda Forsyth is a Research Fellow in the Regulatory Institutions Network at the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University. In February 2011 she commenced a three year ARC Discovery funded project to investigate the impact of intellectual laws on development in Pacific Island countries. Prior to coming to the ANU, Miranda was a senior lecturer in criminal law at the law school of the University of the South Pacific, based in Port Vila, Vanuatu.  The broad focus of Miranda’s research is investigating the possibilities and challenges of the inter-operation of state and non-state justice systems.  She also works on the issue of how best to localize or vernacularize the foreign legal norms and procedures, and adopts a socio-legal approach to regulation.

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8310-9551

Hybridity on the Ground in Peacebuilding and Development »

Critical Conversations

Hybridity on the Ground in Peacebuilding and Development engages with the possibilities and pitfalls of the increasingly popular notion of hybridity. The hybridity concept has been embraced by scholars and practitioners in response to the social and institutional complexities of peacebuilding and development practice. In particular, the concept appears well-suited to making sense of the mutually constitutive outcomes of processes of interaction between diverse norms, institutions, actors and discourses in the context of contemporary peacebuilding and development engagements. At the same time, it has been criticised from a variety of perspectives for overlooking critical questions of history, power and scale. The authors in this interdisciplinary collection draw on their in‑depth knowledge of peacebuilding and development contexts in different parts of Asia, the Pacific and Africa to examine the messy and dynamic realities of hybridity ‘on the ground’. By critically exploring the power dynamics, and the diverse actors, ideas, practices and sites that shape hybrid peacebuilding and development across time and space, this book offers fresh insights to hybridity debates that will be of interest to both scholars and practitioners. ‘Hybridity has become an influential idea in peacebuilding and this volume will undoubtedly become the most influential collection on the idea. Nuance and sophistication characterises this engagement with hybridity.’ — Professor John Braithwaite

Talking it Through »

Responses to Sorcery and Witchcraft Beliefs and Practices in Melanesia

Sorcery and witchcraft practices and beliefs are pervasive across Melanesia. They are in part created by, and give rise to, a wide variety of poor social and developmental outcomes. These include uneven economic development, low public health, lack of social cohesion, crime, fear and insecurity. A further very visible problem is the attacks on men and women who are accused of being practitioners of witchcraft or sorcery, which can lead to serious bodily harm, banishment and sometimes death. Today, many communities, individuals, church organisations and policymakers in Melanesia and internationally are exploring ways to overcome the negative social outcomes associated with witchcraft and sorcery practices and beliefs. This book brings together a collection of chapters written by a diverse range of authors, both Melanesian and non-Melanesian, providing crucial insights both into how these practices and beliefs are playing out in contemporary Melanesia, and also the types of interventions that are being trialled or debated to address the problems associated with them.

A Bird That Flies With Two Wings »

Kastom and state justice systems in Vanuatu

Authored by: Miranda Forsyth
This book investigates the problems and possibilities of plural legal orders through an in-depth study of the relationship between the state and customary justice systems in Vanuatu. It argues that there is a need to move away from the current state-centric approach to law reform in the South Pacific region, and instead include all state and non-state legal orders in development strategies and dialogue. The book also presents a typology of models of engagement between state and non-state legal systems, and describes a process for analysing which of these models would be most advantageous for any country in the South Pacific region, and beyond.