Migration and Transnationalism

Pacific Perspectives
Edited by:
ISBN (print): 9781921536908
ISBN (online): 9781921536915
Publication date: August 2009
Imprint: ANU Press

Pacific Islanders have engaged in transnational practices since their first settlement of the many islands in the region. As they moved beyond the Pacific and settled in nations such as New Zealand, the U.S. and Australia these practices intensified and over time have profoundly shaped both home and diasporic communities. This edited volume begins with a detailed account of this history and the key issues in Pacific migration and transnationalism today. The papers that follow present a range of case studies that maintain this focus on both historical and contemporary perspectives. Each of the contributors goes beyond a narrowly economic focus to present the human face of migration and transnationalism; exploring questions of cultural values and identity, transformations in kinship, intergenerational change and the impact on home communities.

Pacific migration and transnationalism are addressed in this volume in the context of increasing globalisation and growing concerns about the future social, political and economic security of the Pacific region. As the case studies presented here show, the future of the Pacific depends in many ways on the ties diasporic Islanders maintain with their homelands.


In her review of Migration and Transnationalism, Dr Frances Steel writes that: “In the thirteen chapters of this edited volume, Pacific transnationalism and its consequences are illuminated through individual accounts of almost all island cultures in the region known as Polynesia. The book clusters regional accounts of Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Tokelau, Kiribati, and Tuvalu into collective representations, thereby establishing the particularities and commonalities of Pacific transnationalism. Together the assorted case studies and the diverse interdisciplinary background of the authors—ranging from Anthropology, Sociology, and Human Geography, to Health Studies— opens this book to a broad readership.” (p.149). Further, Steel writes: “the book is not limited to an audience of Tongan or Pacific scholars. Its carefully chosen contributions interlink different aspects of transnationalism, such as the study of movement, homeland, cultural changes and generational differences to a variety of thematic contexts, making it of relevance to a broad audience.” (p.150)

(Steel, Frances. “Unraveling Pacific Transnationalism.” Review of Migration and Transnationalism: Pacific Perspectives, edited by Helen Lee and Steve Tupai Francis. Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, Volume 3 Issue 2, Summer 2013.)