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Across the threshold: regime change and uncertainty in Tonga 2005-2007

Campbell, Ian C. (2008) Across the threshold: regime change and uncertainty in Tonga 2005-2007. Journal of Pacific History, 43 (1). pp. 95-109. ISSN 0022-3344

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The long reign of Tupou IV of Tonga ended in 2006 at a time when pressure for political change, building during the previous 25 years, was beginning to turn towards direct action. Tentative reform efforts by the king's children were insufficient to satisfy the growing demands, and were partially vitiated by controversy over royal business interests and privileges. During the king's last year, protest broadened from governance issues to economic, social and policy issues in which diverse interest groups were drawn together, having little in common other than opposition to one thing or another. Within two months of the king's death, his successor had instigated or approved some significant steps forward, but reformists declared themselves unsatisfied. A resulting riot in which large areas of the capital were destroyed, has been variously represented as an attempted coup, as a spontaneous outburst of righteous exasperation and as an attempt at political intimidation. Reform continues to be the object of government, but long-term reformists have damaged their reputations and the growing public esteem for democracy. The quest for a new national consensus has become more difficult.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2008 21:18
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2012 05:49

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