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The Wantok system as a socio-economic and political network in Melanesia

Nanau, Gordon (2011) The Wantok system as a socio-economic and political network in Melanesia. Omnes: The Journal of Multicultural Society, 2 (1). pp. 31-55. ISSN 2093-5498

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Understanding the wantok system as a socio-economic and political network in the Western Pacific is critical to understanding Melanesian societies and political behavior in the context of the modern nation-state. The complex web of relationships spawned by the wantok system at local, national and sub-regional levels of Melanesia could inform our understanding of events and development in Melanesian states in the contemporary period. This paper will analyze the concepts and historical roots of wantok and kastom in Melanesia, with particular reference to the Solomon Islands. It will also assess the impact of colonialism in the development of new and artificial wantok identities and their (re)construction for political purposes. It concludes with a contextual analysis of wantok as an important network in the Solomon Islands emphasizing its central role to people’s understanding of social and political stability and instability.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Government, Development and International Affairs
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2011 08:11
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2012 08:11

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