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Looking north or looking anywhere? Indo-Fijian international relations after the coups of May 2000 and December 2006

Weber, Eberhard (2017) Looking north or looking anywhere? Indo-Fijian international relations after the coups of May 2000 and December 2006. Bandung: Journal of the Global South, 4 (2). pp. 1-19. ISSN 2198-3534

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Abstract

Between 1987 and 2006 Fiji experienced four coups in which Governments were overthrown by their military forces or parts of it. After the fourth coup in December 2006 old metropolitan friends such as Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the EU responded with travel sanctions, cancellation of military cooperation and frozen development assistance. When Fiji was politically isolated it fostered secondary political friendships of olden days and established new ones. The paper searches for evidence of Fiji’s agency to change the structure of its International Relations (IR) after the coup of 2000. Such relations were first shaped in Prime Minister Qarase’s ‘Look North’ policy, but following the coup of December 2006 Fiji’s IR took a new quality once political isolation was overcome and internal power stabilized. The paper concentrates on Indo-Fijian relations, which, however, are embedded in Fiji’s general effort to achieve greater independence from old friends by forcing new international relationships. Of particular interest in this context is, if Fiji’s political orientation after 2006 has just been a temporary necessity born out of political isolation or if Fiji’s policy of fostering South–South relations will remain a decisive element of the country’s foreign policy in the long term. To understand IR in the context of Fiji and India it is essential to look at both countries, their interests and agency. Looking at Fiji alone would leave the question unanswered, why Indian Governments had an interest to cooperate with the country in the Pacific Islands despite hard-core nationalist anti-Indian sentiments and politics pursued in Fiji after the coup of 2000. It also won’t be conclusive why India should be interested at all to foster high profile relations with a tiny country like Fiji in a situation when Indian governments were aiming at much higher goals.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Eberhard Weber
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2017 10:21
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2017 10:21
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9724
UNSPECIFIED

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