Papua New Guinea: Government, Economy and Society

Papua New Guinea: Government, Economy and Society

Edited by: Stephen Howes orcid, Lekshmi N. Pillai

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Papua New Guinea (PNG), a nation of now almost nine million people, continues to evolve and adapt. While there is no shortage of recent data and research on PNG, the two most recent social science volumes on the country were both written more than a decade ago. Since then, much has changed and much has been learnt. What has been missing is a volume that brings together the most recent research and reports on the most recent data. Papua New Guinea: Government, Economy and Society fills that gap.

Written by experts at the University of Papua New Guinea and The Australian National University among others, this book provides up-to-date surveys of critical policy issues for PNG across a range of fields, from elections and politics, decentralisation, and crime and corruption, to PNG’s economic trajectory and household living standards, to uneven development, communication and the media. The volume’s authors provide an overview of the data collected and research undertaken in these various fields in an engaging and accessible way.

Edited by Professor Stephen Howes and Professor Lekshmi N. Pillai, Papua New Guinea: Government, Economy and Society is a must-read for students, policymakers and anyone interested in understanding this complex and fascinating country.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Mar 2022
ANU Press
Pacific Series
Business & Economics; Social Sciences: Politics & International Studies, Social Policy & Administration

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  1. Introduction (PDF, 0.2MB)Stephen Howes [orcid] and Lekshmi N. Pillai doi

Part I: Politics and Governance

  1. Elections and politics (PDF, 1.0MB)Michael Kabuni [orcid], Maholopa Laveil [orcid], Geejay Milli and Terence Wood [orcid] doi
  2. Decentralisation: A political analysis (PDF, 0.3MB)Stephen Howes [orcid], Lawrence Sause [orcid] and Lhawang Ugyel [orcid] doi
  3. Crime and corruption (PDF, 0.5MB)Grant W. Walton [orcid] and Sinclair Dinnen [orcid] doi

Part II: The Economy

  1. PNG’s economic trajectory: The long view (PDF, 2.4MB)Stephen Howes [orcid], Rohan Fox [orcid], Maholopa Laveil [orcid], Luke McKenzie, Albert Prabhakar Gudapati and Dek Sum [orcid] doi
  2. Have living standards improved in PNG over the last two decades? Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys (PDF, 0.3MB)Manoj K. Pandey [orcid] and Stephen Howes [orcid] doi

Part III: Society

  1. Uneven development and its effects: Livelihoods and urban and rural spaces in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 0.3MB)John Cox [orcid], Grant W. Walton [orcid], Joshua Goa and Dunstan Lawihin [orcid] doi
  2. Communication, information and the media (PDF, 0.4MB)Amanda H. A. Watson [orcid] doi


‘The book … should be required reading for aid donors, development studies, and Pacific Islands studies, and indeed for anyone engaging with PNG in any capacity who wants a solid briefing on its situation.’

– Penelope Schoeffel, Pacific Affairs (May, 2023)

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