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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.

Tulagi »

Pacific Outpost of British Empire

Authored by: Clive Moore
Publication date: September 2019
Tulagi was the capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate between 1897 and 1942. The British withdrawal from the island during the Pacific War, its capture by the Japanese and the American reconquest left the island’s facilities damaged beyond repair. After the war, Britain moved the capital to the American military base on Guadalcanal, which became Honiara. The Tulagi settlement was an enclave of several small islands, the permanent population of which was never more than 600: 300 foreigners—one-third of European origin and most of the remainder Chinese—and an equivalent number of Solomon Islanders. Thousands of Solomon Islander males also passed through on their way to work on plantations and as boat crews, hospital patients and prisoners. The history of the Tulagi enclave provides an understanding of the origins of modern Solomon Islands. Tulagi was also a significant outpost of the British Empire in the Pacific, which enables a close analysis of race, sex and class and the process of British colonisation and government in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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.

Archaeologies of Island Melanesia »

Current approaches to landscapes, exchange and practice

Publication date: August 2019
‘The island world of Melanesia—ranging from New Guinea and the Bismarcks through the Solomons, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia—is characterised more than anything by its boundless diversity in geography, language and culture. The deep historical roots of this diversity are only beginning to be uncovered by archaeological investigations, but as the contributions to this volume demonstrate, the exciting discoveries being made across this region are opening windows to our understanding of the historical processes that contributed to such remarkably varied cultures. Archaeologies of Island Melanesia offers a sampling of some of the recent and ongoing research that spans such topics as landscape, exchange systems, culture contact and archaeological practice, authored by some of the leading scholars in Oceanic archaeology.’ — Professor Patrick Vinton Kirch Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawai‘i Island Melanesia is a remarkable region in many respects, from its great ecological and linguistic diversity, to the complex histories of settlement and interaction spanning from the Pleistocene to the present. Archaeological research in Island Melanesia is currently going through a vibrant phase of exciting new discoveries and challenging debates about questions that apply far beyond the region. This volume draws together a variety of current perspectives in regional archaeology for Island Melanesia, focusing on Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea. It features both high-level theoretical approaches and rigorous data-driven case studies covering recent research in landscape archaeology, exchange and material culture, and cultural practices.

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.

Hybridity on the Ground in Peacebuilding and Development »

Critical Conversations

Publication date: March 2018
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

Solomon Islanders in World War II »

An Indigenous Perspective

Authored by: Anna Annie Kwai
Publication date: December 2017
The Solomon Islands Campaign of World War II has been the subject of many published historical accounts. Most of these accounts present an ‘outsider’ perspective with limited reference to the contribution of indigenous Solomon Islanders as coastwatchers, scouts, carriers and labourers under the Royal Australian Navy and other Allied military units. Where islanders are mentioned, they are represented as ‘loyal’ helpers. The nature of local contributions in the war and their impact on islander perceptions are more complex than has been represented in these outsiders’ perspectives. Islander encounters with white American troops enabled self-awareness of racial relationships and inequality under the colonial administration, which sparked struggles towards recognition and political autonomy that emerged in parts of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate in the postwar period. Exploitation of postwar military infrastructure by the colonial administration laid the foundation for later sociopolitical upheaval experienced by the country. In the aftermath of the 1998 crisis, the supposed unity and pride that prevailed among islanders during the war has been seen as an avenue whereby different ethnic identities can be unified. This national unification process entailed the construction of the ‘Pride of our Nation’ monument that aims to restore the pride and identity of Solomon Islanders.

Making Mala »

Malaita in Solomon Islands, 1870s–1930s

Authored by: Clive Moore
Publication date: April 2017
Malaita is one of the major islands in the Solomons Archipelago and has the largest population in the Solomon Islands nation. Its people have an undeserved reputation for conservatism and aggression. Making Mala argues that in essence Malaitans are no different from other Solomon Islanders, and that their dominance, both in numbers and their place in the modern nation, can be explained through their recent history. A grounding theme of the book is its argument that, far than being conservative, Malaitan religions and cultures have always been adaptable and have proved remarkably flexible in accommodating change. This has been the secret of Malaitan success. Malaitans rocked the foundations of the British protectorate during the protonationalist Maasina Rule movement in the 1940s and the early 1950s, have heavily engaged in internal migration, particularly to urban areas, and were central to the ‘Tension Years’ between 1998 and 2003. Making Mala reassesses Malaita’s history, demolishes undeserved tropes and uses historical and cultural analyses to explain Malaitans’ place in the Solomon Islands nation today.

Kastom, property and ideology »

Land transformations in Melanesia

Publication date: March 2017
The relationship between customary land tenure and ‘modern’ forms of landed property has been a major political issue in the ‘Spearhead’ states of Melanesia since the late colonial period, and is even more pressing today, as the region is subject to its own version of what is described in the international literature as a new ‘land rush’ or ‘land grab’ in developing countries. This volume aims to test the application of one particular theoretical framework to the Melanesian version of this phenomenon, which is the framework put forward by Derek Hall, Philip Hirsch and Tania Murray Li in their 2011 book, Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia. Since that framework emerged from studies of the agrarian transition in Southeast Asia, the key question addressed in this volume is whether ‘land transformations’ in Melanesia are proceeding in a similar direction, or whether they take a somewhat different form because of the particular nature of Melanesian political economies or social institutions. The contributors to this volume all deal with this question from the point of view of their own direct engagement with different aspects of the land policy process in particular countries. Aside from discussion of the agrarian transition in Melanesia, particular attention is also paid to the growing problem of land access in urban areas and the gendered nature of landed property relations in this region.

Transformations of Gender in Melanesia »

Publication date: February 2017
Despite the plethora of research on gender and the many projects designed to improve their status in the Pacific region, women continue to be disadvantaged and marginalised in social, economic and political spheres. How are we to understand this and what does it mean for researchers, policy-makers and development practitioners? This book examines these questions, partly by looking back but also by continuing the effort to explain and understand gender inequities in the Pacific through reference to the concept of societies in transition. The contributors discuss emerging masculinities and femininities in the Pacific in order to chart the development of these in their contexts. Exploring how contemporary Pacific identities are shaped by local contexts and traditions, they focus on how these are remade through interaction with global ideas, images and practices, including new forms of Christianity and economic transformations. Grounded in recent, original research in both the villages and towns of Melanesia, the collection engages with the study of gender in Melanesia as well as scholarship on global modernities. ‘This collection is a welcome addition to the study of gender in Melanesia … Collectively, the essays present complex, locally contextualised and regionally situated case studies of gender transformation occurring alongside, in many instances, the re-codification of hegemonic gendered norms and practices. Gender is not understood as simply code for women in this volume rather, the majority of chapters incorporate men and masculinities in their analysis of gender relations and dynamics. A highlight of the collection is the attention paid to how “the politics of tradition” (and of modernity) are expressed through morally loaded concepts of the “good” or “bad” woman or man and vice versa.’ — Kalissa Alexeyeff, University of Melbourne