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Politics and Government

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Politics and Government


Culture and Democracy in the South Pacific written by Aiono et al. Edited by Crocombe et al. Recommended retail price $15.

The very diverse cultures of the Pacific Islands are highly valued, though not in the precise forms they took on a century or more ago, as unique expressions of the ethos of the peoples concerned. The concept of democracy is also valued. The word is introduced, but not necessarily the practice, for some Pacific cultures have been among the world's most democratic since long before contact with European societies. Other Pacific societies are very hierarchical, with chiefly systems based on aristocratic privilege. There are many other forms in the vast range of Pacific cultures. The ideas and values implicit in the term democracy are similar to cultural principles in some Pacific societies, and in conflict with others. This is no different from other parts of the world, except that the nature of the differences here is unique. This important book, written by some of the Pacific's leading thinkers in the fields of politics, culture and philosophy, explores these vital areas of similarity and conflict, and recommends solutions for the future. There are no easy or unequivocal answers, but the thoughtful suggestions of particular authors will help all persons interested in the Pacific Islands to deepen their understanding of these complex issues. Soft cover. 218 pages. Free postage.


Culture, Rights, and Cultural Rights: Perspectives from the South Pacific edited by Margaret Wilson and Paul Hunt. Recommended retail price $24.95

As the title suggests this is a collection of views on culture, rights and cultural rights. Presented at a colloquium organized by the UNECSO Office for Pacific Member States and the Centre for New Zealand Jurisprudence it was held at the University of Waikato in October 1998.

Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had this to say about the collection.

"Despite the progress made in international standards and norms, cultural rights remain among the least understood of all human rights in that we have a clear sense of neither their contours and content nor the relationship between culture and rightsÖ

That link is surely among the most sensitive issues confronting the international human rights community as it enters the new millennium. In these circumstances, I am especially pleased that this volume addresses such an important and complex issue. Moreover, the contributors bring distinctive South Pacific perspectives to their discussion of culture, rights and cultural rights. This contribution to the global campaign to make all human rights a reality to all human beings amply demonstrates that the South Pacific has a rich contribution to make
". Soft cover, 178 pages. Published in 2000.


Japanís Aid Diplomacy and the Pacific Islands by Sandra Tarte. Recommended retail price $34.

In the 1980ís Japan rose to prominence as a leading aid donor to the Pacific island countries. In this study the factors that have motivated and shaped Japanís official development assistance towards the Pacific islands are explored. The unique characteristics of this region and Japanís interests Ė primarily as a fishing power Ė are shown to have profoundly influenced and politicised Japanís role as an aid donor. Access to the regionís rich resource of tuna has been the most enduring of reasons for Japanís steadily growing aid program. But over time, new and competing agendas have emerged. The need to demonstrate allegiance to the United States in its containment of the Soviet Union in the mid-1980ís introduced a fundamental reorientation in Japan'í aid policies. More recently, the Japanese government has been compelled to address criticisms of its aid program from both donors and recipients, and to demonstrate ďleadershipĒin the field of development assistance.

This Pacific Policy Paper reveals how Japan has responded to these criticisms and challenges, and examines the impact of competing interests and objectives on Japanís aid policies. It provides insights that are important not only to understanding Japanís interests and role in the Pacific islands region, but also sheds new perspectives on what drives Japanís aid program, how it aid policies are formulated and the political outcomes of Japanís aid diplomacy.

Sandra Tarte is a lecturer in politics at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. She has also worked as a journalist for the Fiji Times and Islands Business Pacific. She is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, where she completed her PhD in 1995. Soft cover, 250 pages.


Microstates & Nuclear Issues: Regional Cooperation in the Pacific by Yoko Ogashiwa. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820200636. Recommended retail price $10.

Regional cooperation between Pacific Island states on nuclear issues received a boost at the signing of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty by eight SPF member countries in August 1985. This is the third such treaty in the world, following the Antarctic Treaty in 1959 and the Tlatelolco Treaty in Latin America in 1967.

This book surveys the development of this regional cooperation which resulted in the SPNFZ Treaty, in spite of difficulties of both internal and external power relations. The author clarifies the significance of such mutual cooperation in strengthening regional security, casting a new light on the power potential of microstates. Soft cover, 100 pages. Published in 1991.


Navigating the Future: A Samoan Perspective on U.S.-Pacific Relations by Eni F. H. Faleomavaega. Recommended retail price $18.

In this book, Congressman Eni Faleomavaega sets the intellectual and legislative agenda on Pacific issues for the next decade. As a delegate from American Samoa, he naturally focuses on the Pacific Island issues, but demonstrates considerable knowledge in Asian security and trade concerns. The author navigates a middle ground between those who see evil in everything that the U.S. does and the Pollyannas that are incapable of seeing any wrong. In readable prose we are mentored through arcane constitutional and treaty issues such as Exclusive Economic Zones, Territorial Status and Nuclear Free Zones. The author is also adept at explaining the more mundane problems of driftnet fishing, and agricultural and commercial policy. But the reader must realize that Eni is a Pacific Islander first and a scholar and practitioner second. Therefore, cultural issues mold his world view and knit together such diverse issues as American Indian policy, media fairness, and trade.

This book will be valued by Americans and Pacific people alike, for Faleomavaega is one of the few Pacific Islander Americans who is in regular and informed contact with the whole Pacific Region - especially with the 22 Pacific Island nations and territories. He is highly respected throughout for productivity, pragmatism, dedication and integrity.

Faleomavaega has probably done more than any U.S. Congressman to improve the lot of people throughout the Pacific Island region, and to facilitate a deeper and more mutually beneficial relationship with the United States. In addition to superb service to his electorate (as shown by the fact that he has been re-elected four times in a row and still earns more than double the votes of his nearest rival), he has taken many initiatives for the Pacific Islands region as a whole.

The book outlines ways in which relations between the United States and the Pacific can be improved to mutual advantage and calls for deeper understanding of the exceedingly diverse cultures and socio-political systems of this vast region. Soft cover, 146 pages.

Click here for photo from Navigating the Future -- a Samoan Perspective on U.S.-Pacific Relations by Eni Faleomavaega (30K)


New Politics in the South Pacific by Alalima et al. Edited by Busch et al. Recommended retail price $20.

This book focuses on the newer forces that are reshaping the political scene within the Pacific Islands. It examines the evolving impact of women in politics, of NGOs, of electronic media, of sovereignty movements on the one hand and, on the other, the search for forms of political and constitutional association between small countries and large metropolitan powers that yield both the dignity of independence and the security and diversity of belonging to large systems.

Written almost entirely by Pacific Islanders - many of them people active in the political process - this and a parallel book on Pacific Islands relations with the wider world which is now being prepared, give fresh perspectives by insiders on the world's most politically complex region. Soft cover, 354 pages.


Pacific Courts and Legal Systems edited by Guy Powles and Mere Pulea. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820200431. Recommended retail price $24.

What are LAW and JUSTICE in Pacific terms? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE for the courts and legal systems of the Pacific region?

This book collects the views and experiences of a large number of people engaged in courts and law-related jobs, asked to write critically about their work and areas of concern to them. Here are remarkable insights into the 28 societies of the South and Central Pacific, seen through the eyes of judges and magistrates, policy-makers, court administrators, prosecutors, government and private lawyers, pleaders, academics and teachers.

For each society, the book also offers a valuable analysis of the forms of government, sources of law, the system of courts and the legal profession - with emphasis and critical areas such as legal aid and representation, and the training of personnel. Soft cover, 376 pages, published in 1988.


The Pacific Islands and the USA by Ron Crocombe. Recommended retail price $32.

The world's most powerful nation, and more than a dozen of the world's smallest, have been interacting for 200 years. Beginning with whaling in the 1700's, it has continued through many trades, investment, education, churches, media, diplomacy and strategic issues. As significant as the movement of Americans to the Pacific is that of 150,000 Pacific Islanders to USA.

This important book documents the growing interaction with the USA to the pinnacle of involvement in World War II. The importance of USA to the Pacific Islands remained high until the mid 1980's but has declined since then in almost every dimension. While USA will remain significant for the Pacific Islands, its relative profile will continue to decline. Soft cover, 418 pages.


Policies and Perceptions of France in the South Pacific: New Caledonia and Vanuatu by Peter Myriam Dornoy-Vurobaravu. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820200997. Recommended retail price $18.

Perceptions of French policies in the South Pacific may not truly reflect French foreign policy, but they have played a significant role in strengthening traditional links and in shaping emerging ties between France and South Pacific Island countries, including Australia and New Zealand during the 1980's and thereafter. Written in both English and French. Soft cover, 93 pages. Published in 1994.

Political Correctness and the Theoretical Struggle by Frank Ellis. ISBN 0476002354. Published by the Maxim Institute. Recommended retail price $13.95.

“Like ‘The Cold War’, ‘political correctness’ has a history that is much longer than is generally recognized. In this pioneering study, Frank Ellis shows convincingly that PC is a Russian Communist invention… Ellis’ essay is essential reading for everyone who wants to understand the way history is moving at the beginning of the new millennium. This stimulating work should be included in numerous anthologies of path-breaking articles on politics, political philosophy and totalitarianism.” -- Martin Dewhirst, Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Slavonic Studies, University of Glasgow.

“Frank Ellis demonstrates how, by promoting its ideas of what is and is not politically correct, the New Left throughout the English-speaking world has acquired an inordinate degree of censoring power on university campuses and in the media.” – Antony Flew, emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading, author of Crime, Punishment and Disease (1973 & 2002, Education, Race and Revolution (1984) and Equality in Liberty and Justice (1989).

“Frank Ellis has given us a splendid account of the horrible re-emergence of politically correct thinking, or rather mulish refusal to think.” – Professor Robert Conquest, Hoover Institution on War, Peace and Revolution, Stanford University, California, author of The Harvest of Sorrow: Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (1986) and The Great Terror: A Reassessment (1990).

“This profound and scholarly work shows that political correctness is no laughing matter.” – Keith Windschuttle, author of The Killing of History (1997 & 2000) and The Fabrication of Aboriginal History (2002).

Dr. Frank Ellis is lecturer in Russian at the University of Leeds, England and has also taught at the University of Las Vegas. Frank has published articles on a broad range of subjects from Soviet war literature, the Soviet and Russian media, censorship, Marxism, and defence. Prior to his academic career he was a professional soldier serving in the Special Air Service. Soft cover, 86 pages. Published in 2004.


Protest and Dissent in the Colonial Pacific by Peter Hempenstall and Noel Rutherford. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820200865. Recommended retail price $13.

Faced with the vast imbalance of power between their small communities and imperial powers islanders adopted a variety of forms of dissent. Sometimes the response was to organize at the political level; at other times islanders tried to escape from exploitation by economic action through boycotts of European firms and attempts to organize islander cooperatives; another response was industrial action to better working conditions. On a few occasions islanders resorted to armed rebellion. Finally some islanders sought a solution to the problem of domination in the creation of utopian societies and religious cults. This book gives a fascinating analysis of the direction, sophistication and success of such movements. Soft cover, 200 pages. Published in 1984.


Rights, Rules & Responsibilities in International Conduct edited by Russell Solomon. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693834. Recommended retail price $22.

The collection of papers in this volume highlights the importance of the respect for rights, the adherence to rules and the acceptance of responsibilities in the conduct of international relations. We need to look no further than the current or recent international disputes in Kosovo, East Timor and Chechnya to see the empirical and normative relevance of these issues. The conduct of international relations, whether by governments, international agencies, or non-governmental organizations, cannot function outside rule-based frameworks, which provide an essential guide for actions for complex bureaucracies and organizations.

Acknowledging the issues concerning Ďcivilized conduct among nationsí that are firmly encamped on the international political landscape (issues such as the accountability for human rights) and within countries (issues such as the representational, constitutional and civil rights of individuals and groups), this collection examines a broad range of less-well resolved ethical, legal and political dilemmas.

The collection offers a stimulating contribution to a continuing appraisal of rights, rules and responsibilities in international conduct.

Dr. Russell Solomon teaches in the School of Political Science and International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. Soft cover, 226 pages, published in 2000.


Serious Business of Governing, The : Reform in Government & Transformation in the Public Sector by Peter J. Crawford. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0868066001. Recommended retail price $25.

The pressures on contemporary government for reform are so great that major and continuing change within public institutions is inevitable. The temptation to leave institutions unchanged must be resisted if desired outcomes are to be achieved.

A successful government has a clear agenda and focus, knows where it is going and why, and how to get there. That involves excellence in leadership, a good understanding of the community and its needs, a strong sense of direction, the ability to avoid distractions, and the absolute determination to win through.

The Serious Business of Governing looks behind government to understand the principles and public policy which underpins leadership, direction setting and government strategies. It makes the proposition that good government involves a high order of strategic planning, finding the best way of achieving attainable goals and a willingness to assess progress and results. It focuses on the need to secure the desired result for the individual, the economy, the environment, and the community or the nation. Soft cover, 178 pages. Published in 1996.

See below for links to related books

Good Lobbyist’s Guide, The by Annabel Young

Dangerous Democracy?: News Media Politics in New Zealand edited by Judy McGregor

Electoral and Constitutional Change In New Zealand: An MMP Source Book edited by Jonathan Boston, Stephen Levine, Elizabeth McLeay and Nigel S. Rober

From the Mangrove Swamps by Tomasi R. Vakatora

Nation and Destination: Creating Cook Islands Identity by Jeffrey Sissons

New Zealand Politics Source Book,The (3rd Edition) edited by Stephen Levine with Paul Harris

Ombudsman in New Zealand, The by Bryan Gilling

Our Political Future: The Great Game for The Beehive Shield by Walter Christie

Peter Fraser: Master Politician edited by Margaret Clark

Reforming the Political System of the Cook Islands: Preparing for the Challenges of the 21st Century by Iaveta Short, Ron Crocombe & John Herrmann

Republicanism in New Zealand edited by Luke Trainor

Sir Keith Hoyoake: Towards a Political Biography edited by Margaret Clark

South Pacific, The by Ron Crocombe

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Last modified on Thursday, December 08, 2005