The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 17, no. 2 (2005)

TCP 17.2 cover image

About the Artist: Ric R. Castro, p. ix


Australian Foreign Policy and the RAMSI Intervention in Solomon Islands, p. 283
Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka

The Australian government’s decision to lead a Pacific Islands Forum regional intervention into Solomon Islands marked a dramatic change in Australian policy toward the Solomons in particular and the Pacific Islands region in general. It demonstrated Australia’s willingness to play a more assertive role in the domestic affairs of Pacific countries. The decision also reflected fundamental changes in the global security environment following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States and the perception that international terrorism has made it difficult to separate external and internal security. Canberra was influenced by the idea that terrorists could use “failed states” to pose security problems for Australia (and other western countries). While Australia’s concerns about its own security as well as the influence of Anglo-American security policies have led the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands to concentrate on rebuilding the Solomon Islands state, this paper argues that the post-conflict nation building process must include other institutions besides the state—such as churches, community leaders, nongovernmental organizations, women’s groups—that already have an influence on society. This is particularly important for Solomon Islands, a country where there have always been multiple centers of power, with the state not always the most important. Further, post-conflict nation building must also involve the mending and rebuilding of relationships between peoples while ensuring that foreign assistance does not create a culture of dependency.
Keywords: conflict, peace, intervention, development, security, terrorism, leadership

Beyond Governance in Samoa: Understanding Samoan Political Thought, p. 311
Elise Huffer and Asofou So‘o

In the Samoan polity today, the indigenous institution of the matai (chiefs) continues to play a pivotal role in governance. In determining leadership, the fa‘asamoa (Samoan way) and the fa‘amatai (way of the chiefs) are the most influential factors. Yet this has not prevented Samoa from experiencing governance problems found in other countries of the region, although perhaps on a lesser scale: misunderstanding, frustration, alienation, migration, discrimination, malpractice, patronage, and violence. Reasons for this may be (1) a lack of correspondence between fa‘asamoa and liberal democracy; (2) a lack of general understanding and critical assessment of the principles of liberal democracy in Samoa; (3) a combination of misuse, abuse, or misunderstanding of fa‘asamoa; and (4) a lack of publicity and critical assessment of the principles of fa‘asamoa. This paper examines aspects of these four characteristics of the Samoan polity and looks at ways of reassessing governance. It draws on literature that deals with some of the main features of Samoan political thought, as well as on discussions with Samoan scholars and thinkers. This introduction to a different approach to Samoan governance also briefly reviews some of the political forces and tensions at play in Samoa to show how they impact current political conceptualization.
Keywords: Samoa, democracy, fa‘amatai, fa‘asamoa, political thought, philosophy, governance

DIALOGUE I: Reflections on Nuclear Testing in the South Pacific, edited by David Chappell

In Quest of Dialogue on a “Hot” Subject, p. 336
David Chappell

The Nuclear Issue in the South Pacific: Labor Parties, Trade Union Movements, and Pacific Island Churches in International Relations, p. 339
Jean-Marc Regnault

A Comment on “The Nuclear Issue in the South Pacific”, p. 359
Stewart Firth

The Nuclear Age in the Pacific Islands, p. 363
Nic Maclellan

Response to Regnault, p. 373
Bruno Barrillot and John Taroanui Doom

French Nuclear Testing in the South Pacific, or When France Makes Light of Its Duty to Remember p. 378
Gabriel Tetiarahi

Reply, p. 382
Jean-Marc Regnault


Of Blood and of the Heart: An Interview with Georgia Ka‘apuni McMillen, p. 387
Cara Cilano

“Hawaiian at Heart” and Other Fictions, p. 404
Lisa Kahaleole Hall


The Region in Review: International Issues and Events, 2004, p. 416
Karin von Strokirch

Melanesia in Review: Issues and Events, 2004, p. 435
David Chappell, Anita Jowitt, and Jaap Timmer


Becoming Sinners: Christianity and Moral Torment in a Papua New Guinea Society, by Joel Robbin, p. 466
Reviewed by Mary N MacDonald

Maori Times, Maori Places: Prophetic Histories, by Karen Sinclair, p. 468
Reviewed by Toon van Meijl

Cargo, Cult, and Culture Critique, edited by Holger Jebens, p. 470
Reviewed by Michael French Smith

Landscape, Memory and History: Anthropological Perspectives, edited by Pamela J Stewart and Andrew Strathern, p. 473
Reviewed by Jamon Halvaksz

Bittersweet: The Indo-Fijian Experience, edited by Brij V Lal, p. 475
Reviewed by Max Quanchi

Pacific Places, Pacific Histories: Essays in Honor of Robert C Kiste, edited by Brij V Lal, p. 478
Reviewed by Anne Hattori

New Guinea: Crossing Boundaries and History, by Clive Moore, p. 480
Reviewed by Larry M Lake

Worlds Apart: A History of the Pacific Islands, by I C Campbell, p. 482
Reviewed by John Cole

The Archaeology of Micronesia, by Paul Rainbird, p. 485
Reviewed by Ross Cordy

Wartime Japanese Anthropology in Asia and the Pacific, edited by Akitoshi Shimizu and Jan van Bremen, p. 487
Reviewed by Dirk Anthony Ballendorf

Namoluk Beyond the Reef: The Transformation of a Micronesian Community, by Mac Marshall, p. 489
Reviewed by Unasa L F Va‘a

Under Heaven’s Brow: Pre-Christian Religious Tradition in Chuuk, by Ward H Goodenough, p. 491
Reviewed by Ted Lowe

Conceiving Cultures: Reproducing People and Places on Nuakata, Papua New Guinea, by Shelley Mallett, p. 494
Reviewed by Leslie Butt

Exchanging the Past: A Rainforest World of Before and After, by Bruce M Knauft, p. 497
Reviewed by Thomas Ernst

Identity and Development: Tongan Culture, Agriculture, and the Perenniality of the Gift, by Paul van der Grijp, p. 499
Reviewed by Mike Evans

Anuta: Polynesian Lifeways for the 21t Century, by Richard Feinberg, p. 501
Reviewed by Torben Monberg

Re-Thinking Vanuatu Education Together, edited by Kabini Sanga, John Niroa, Kalmele Matai, and Linda Crowl, p. 502
Reviewed by Karen Ann Watson-Gegeo

Pacific Art: Persistence, Change and Meaning, edited by Anita Herle, Nick Stanley, Karen Stevenson, and Robert L Welsch, p. 505
Reviewed by Jacob Love

The Time at Darwin’s Reef: Poetic Explorations in Anthropology and History, by Ivan Brady, p. 507
Reviewed by Klaus Neumann

Kau La‘au and Ma‘ama‘a: Traditional Hawaiian Ulua Fishing (DVD), p. 510
Reviewed by Mark A Calamia

Oltobed a Malt (Nurture, regenerate, celebrate). The Ninth Festival of Pacific Arts in Koror, Palau, 22–31 July 2004, p. 512
Reviewed by Jane Freeman Moulin