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Displaying results 1 to 10 of 52.

Civil Society and Transitional Justice in Asia and the Pacific »

Publication date: November 2019
Over the last two decades, civil society has helped catalyse responses to the legacies of violent conflicts and oppressive political regimes in Asia and the Pacific. Civil society has advocated for the establishment of criminal trials and truth commissions, monitored their operations and pushed for take-up of their recommendations. It has also initiated community-based transitional justice responses. Yet, there has been little in-depth examination of the breadth and diversity of these roles. This book addresses this gap by analysing the heterogeneity of civil society transitional justice activity in Asia and the Pacific. Based upon empirically grounded case studies of Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Fiji, this book illustrates that civil society actors can have different – and sometimes competing – priorities, resources and approaches to transitional justice. Their work is also underpinned by diverse understandings of ‘justice’. By reflecting on the richness of this activity, this book advances contemporary debates about transitional justice and civil society. It will also be a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners working on Asia and the Pacific.

Levelling Wind »

Remembering Fiji

Authored by: Brij V. Lal
Publication date: October 2019
‘What I have sought to do in my work is to give voiceless people a voice, place and purpose, the sense of dignity and inner strength that comes from never giving up no matter how difficult the circumstances. History belongs as much to the vanquished as to the victors.’ — Brij V. Lal ‘Professor Brij Lal is the finest historian of the Indian indentured experience and the Indian diaspora. His Girmitiyas is a classic.’ — Emeritus Professor Clem Seecharan, London Metropolitan University ‘Brij Lal is a highly respected, versatile and imaginative scholar who has  made a lasting contribution to the historiography of the Pacific.’ — Dr Rod Alley, Victoria University of Wellington ‘Professor Brij Lal’s life is a remarkable journey of a scholar and an intellectual whose writings are truly transformative; a man of moral clarity and courage who also has deep pain at being cut off from his homeland.’ — Professor Michael Wesley, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University ‘Brij Lal is a singular scholar, whose work has spanned disciplines – from history, political commentary, encyclopedia, biography and “faction”. Brij is without doubt the most eminent scholar in the humanities and social sciences Fiji has ever produced. He also remains one of the most significant public intellectuals of his country, despite having been banned from entering it in 2009.’ — Emeritus Professor Clive Moore, University of Queensland ‘Brij Lal is an accomplished and versatile historian and true son of Fiji. Above all, there is affirmation here of the enduring worth of good literature and the value of good education that Lal received and wants others to experience. The world needs more Lals who speak out against ruling opinions and dare to stray into  the pastures of independent thought.’ — Professor Doug Munro, historian and biographer, Wellington, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland

Contested Terrain »

Reconceptualising Security in the Pacific

Authored by: Steven Ratuva
Publication date: September 2019
Contested Terrain provides a cutting-edge, comprehensive and innovative approach to critically analysing the multidimensional and contested nature of security narratives, justified by different ideological, political, cultural and economic rationales. This is important in a complex and ever-changing situation involving a dynamic interplay between local, regional and global factors. Security narratives are constructed in multiple ways and are used to frame our responses to the challenges and threats to our sense of safety, wellbeing, identity and survival but how the narratives are constructed is a matter of intellectual and political contestation. Using three case studies from the Pacific (Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands), Contested Terrain shows the different security challenges facing each country, which result from their unique historical, political and socio-cultural circumstances. Contrary to the view that the Pacific is a generic entity with common security issues, this book argues for more localised and nuanced approaches to security framing and analysis.

The Moral Economy of Mobile Phones »

Pacific Islands Perspectives

Publication date: May 2018
The moral economy of mobile phones implies a field of shifting relations among consumers, companies and state actors, all of whom have their own ideas about what is good, fair and just. These ideas inform the ways in which, for example, consumers acquire and use mobile phones; companies promote and sell voice, SMS and data subscriptions; and state actors regulate both everyday use of mobile phones and market activity around mobile phones. Ambivalence and disagreement about who owes what to whom is thus an integral feature of the moral economy of mobile phones. This volume identifies and evaluates the stakes at play in the moral economy of mobile phones. The six main chapters consider ethnographic cases from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu. The volume also includes a brief introduction with background information on the recent ‘digital revolution’ in these countries and two closing commentaries that reflect on the significance of the chapters for our understanding of global capitalism and the contemporary Pacific.

Mobilities of Return »

Pacific Perspectives

Edited by: John Taylor, Helen Lee
Publication date: December 2017
In recent decades, the term ‘mobility’ has emerged as a defining paradigm within the humanities. For scholars engaged in the multidisciplinary topics and perspectives now often embraced by the term Pacific Studies, it has been a much more longstanding and persistent concern. Even so, specific questions regarding ‘mobilities of return’—that is, the movement of people ‘back’ to places that are designated, however ambiguously or ambivalently, as ‘home’—have tended to take a back seat within more recent discussions of mobility, transnationalism and migration. This volume situates return mobility as a starting point for understanding the broader context and experience of human mobility, community and identity in the Pacific region and beyond. Through diverse case studies spanning the Pacific region, it demonstrates the extent to which the prospect and practice of returning home, or of navigating returns between multiple homes, is a central rather than peripheral component of contemporary Pacific Islander mobilities and identities everywhere.

The General’s Goose »

Fiji's Tale of Contemporary Misadventure

Authored by: Robbie Robertson
Publication date: August 2017
His admirers said he was a charismatic leader with a dazzling smile, a commoner following an ancient tradition of warrior service on behalf of an indigenous people who feared marginalisation at the hands of ungrateful immigrants. One tourist pleaded with him to stage a coup in her backyard; in private parties around the capital, Suva, infatuated women whispered ‘coup me baby’ in his presence. It was so easy to overlook the enormity of what he had done in planning and implementing Fiji’s first military coup, to be seduced by celebrity, captivated by the excitement of the moment, and plead its inevitability as the final eruption of long-simmering indigenous discontent. A generation would pass before the consequences of the actions of Fiji’s strongman of 1987, Sitiveni Rabuka, would be fully appreciated but, by then, the die had been well and truly cast. The major general did not live happily ever after. No nirvana followed the assertion of indigenous rights. If anything, misadventure became his country’s most enduring contemporary trait. This is Fiji’s very human story.

Bearing Witness »

Essays in honour of Brij V. Lal

Publication date: July 2017
"Brij V. Lal is a singular scholar. His work has spanned disciplines—from history to politics—and genres—from conventional monograph history, to participant history, political commentary, encyclopaedia, biography and faction. Brij is without doubt the most eminent scholar Fiji has ever produced. He also remains the most significant public intellectual of his country, despite having been banned from entering it in 2009. He is also one of the leading Pacific historians of his generation, and an internationally recognised authority on the Indian diaspora. This Festschrift volume celebrates, reflects upon and extends the life and work of this colourful scholar. The essays, whose contributors are drawn from across the globe, do more than review Brij’s work; they also probe his contribution to both scholarly and political life. This book will therefore serve as an invaluable guide for readers from all walks of life seeking to better situate and understand the impact of Brij’s scholarly activism on Fiji and beyond." — Clive Moore, University of Queensland "It is a pleasure to commend this collection of very different essays that celebrate, reflect upon and extend the life and work of a remarkable scholar. Although I have had, at times, a close association with Brij Lal’s life and work, I have learned much from reading this book. It provokes further thought about the course of democracy in Fiji, and the very sorry state and future of Pacific history and the humanities in academia. Here is a timely assertion of the significance and major contribution that courageous scholars such as Brij have made to the study and public awareness of these areas of concern." — Jacqueline Leckie, University of Otago

Tides of Innovation in Oceania »

Value, materiality and place

Publication date: April 2017
Tides of Innovation in Oceania is directly inspired by Epeli Hau‘ofa’s vision of the Pacific as a ‘Sea of Islands’; the image of tides recalls the cyclical movement of waves, with its unpredictable consequences. The authors propose tides of innovation as a fluid concept, unbound and open to many directions. This perspective is explored through ethnographic case studies centred on deeply elaborated analyses of locally inflected agencies involved in different transforming contexts. Three interwoven themes—value, materiality and place—provide a common thread.

Touring Pacific Cultures »

Publication date: December 2016
Tourism is vital to the economies of most Pacific nations and as such is an important site for the meaningful production of shared and disputed cultural values and practices. This is especially the case when tourism intersects with other important arenas for cultural production, both directly and indirectly. Touring Pacific Cultures captures the central importance of tourism to the visual, material and performed cultures of the Pacific region. In this volume, we propose to explore new directions in understanding how culture is defined, produced, experienced and sustained through tourism-related practices across that region. We ask, how is cultural value, ownership, performance and commodification negotiated and experienced in actual lived practice as it moves with people across the Pacific?   ‘This collection is a welcome addition to tourism studies, or perhaps we should say post- or para-tourism. The essays bring out many facets and experiences too quickly bundled under a single label and focused exclusively on “destinations” visited by “outsiders”. Tourism, we see here, actively involves many different populations, societies, and economies, a range of local/global/regional engagements that can be both destructive and creative. Western outsiders aren’t the only ones on the move. Unequal power, (neo)colonial exploitation and capitalist commodification are very much part of the picture. But so are desire, adventure, pleasure, cultural reinvention and economic development. The effect, overall, is an attitude of alert, critical ambivalence with respect to a proliferating historical phenomenon. A bumpy and rewarding ride.’ — James Clifford, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz

Gender Violence & Human Rights »

Seeking Justice in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu

Publication date: December 2016
The postcolonial states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu operate today in a global arena in which human rights are widely accepted. As ratifiers of UN treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, these Pacific Island countries have committed to promoting women’s and girls’ rights, including the right to a life free of violence. Yet local, national and regional gender values are not always consistent with the principles of gender equality and women’s rights that undergird these globalising conventions. This volume critically interrogates the relation between gender violence and human rights as these three countries and their communities and citizens engage with, appropriate, modify and at times resist human rights principles and their implications for gender violence. Grounded in extensive anthropological, historical and legal research, the volume should prove a crucial resource for the many scholars, policymakers and activists who are concerned about the urgent and ubiquitous problem of gender violence in the western Pacific.   ‘This is an important and timely collection that is central to the major and contentious issues in the contemporary Pacific of gender violence and human rights. It builds upon existing literature … but the contributors to this volume interrogate the connection between these two areas deeply and more critically … This book should and must reach a broad audience.’ ­— Jacqui Leckie, Associate Professor, Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Otago ‘The volume addresses the tensions between human and cultural, individual and collective rights, as played out in the domain of gender … Gender is a perfect lens for exploring these tensions because cultural rights are often claimed in defence of gender oppression and because women often have imposed upon them the burden of representing cultural traditions in attire, comportment, restraint or putatively cultural conservatism. And Melanesia is a perfect place to consider these gendered issues because of the long history of ethnocentric representations of the region, because of the extent to which these are played out between states and local cultures and because of the efforts of the vibrant women’s movements in the region to develop locally workable responses to the problems of gender violence in these communities.’ — Christine Dureau, Senior Lecturer, Anthropology, University of Auckland