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Fidschi - Diskurse und Akteure der Gewalt

Weber, Eberhard (2008) Fidschi - Diskurse und Akteure der Gewalt. Pazifik-Informationsstelle <Neuendettelsau>: Dossier, 85 . Pazifik-Informationsstelle, Neuendettelsau, Germany. ISBN NA

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Between 1987 and 2006 Fiji, a small state in the Pacific Ocean, experienced four coups in which Governments were removed from office by the military forces of the country or parts of it. Many observers contribute politically motivated violence in Fiji to ethnic tensions between indigenous ethnic Fijians and people of Indian origin, who immigrated to Fiji mainly between 1880 and 1920. While ethnicity can be considered as a contributing factor to political instability and violence in Fiji the existence of additional cleavages based on class and centre/periphery dichotomy creates a rather complex picture. Acts of violence are committed by indigenous Fijians, who hold political power in the country. The targets of politically motivated violence are not only people of Indian origin, but also indigenous Fijians. This gives an idea that the coups are also about conflicts within the Fijian society. Fijian elites try to gain power over the military and use it as an instrument to pursue their tribal interests. Such inner-Fijian conflicts are about loss of political and economic power in the process of modernization experienced by traditional chiefs of the tribal confederacies and conflicts caused by marginalization of indigenous people living in the periphery demanding their share from the process of development. External actors like Australia, New Zealand and the USA, which consider the Pacific Island Region as their backyard and sphere of influence, add another layer to the internal conflicts. During the Cold War Pacific Islands were the nuclear testing grounds for the USA, France and Great Britain as well as a strategic region for the US-American Pacific Fleet. Since 9/11 the USA as well as Australia and New Zealand consider political instability in the Pacific Island Region as creating a breeding ground for international terrorism and thus a threat to their national security. The economic and social consequences of political violence are disastrous: in each year of the coups production, employment and exports shrank considerably and it always took a couple of years before the economy had recovered from the political crisis. Between 1987 and 2006 more than 10 per cent of Fiji 19s population has left the country to look for a better life elsewhere. To blame political instability entirely for brain drain and economic decline however would be too simple. Fiji did lose out in the process of globalization. Regulations that had been established by metropolitan powers to protect their industries had favored Fiji 19s sugar and garment exports for quite a while. With changes initiated by the World Trade Organization the international trade environment has changed at the expense of Fiji.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: ISSN: 2198-6967
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fiji, violence, coup resources
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Eberhard Weber
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2013 05:37
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2014 21:51

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