All posts tagged “Vanuatu

Chinese Migrants
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Journal Article Review of Sheng, F., & Smith, G. (2021). The Shifting Fate of China’s Pacific Diaspora.

In this article we review Sheng and Smith’s (2021) chapter, The Shifting Fate of China’s Pacific Diaspora in the edited book The China Alternative: Changing Regional Order in the Pacific Islands. Roxane de Waegh engages with Sheng and Smith’s (2021) material on the founding of a Chinese diaspora in the Pacific in the colonial period through to the independence period. She, like the authors, argues that through competition and gaps in authority in colonial administration of Pacific colonies, Chinese settlers were able to carve out successful trading livelihoods in the region. Lucas Watt assess the degree of migrational continuity of the Chinese diaspora in the Pacific. He argues while there is certainly an under-appreciated migrational continuity of Chinese migration in the Pacific, it is nonetheless a loose continuity. In this review he explores the geopolitical implications of the the perceived and real migrational continuity of Chinese in the Pacific.

Kastom Ekonomi
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Journal Article Review of Rousseau, B., & Taylor, J. P. (2012). Kastom Ekonomi and the Subject of Self-Reliance.

This week we discussed Rousseau and Taylor’s (2012) article “Kastom Ekonomi and the Subject of Self-Reliance”. This is a particularly pertinent topic to discuss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oceanic communities disconnected to the rest of the world due to border shut downs have been turning to the traditional economy to get by. For many (although certainly not all), this turn to the kastom ekonomi has been positively experienced as relational systems of sharing and reliance have been reinvigorated. As a result, Pacific leaders and scholars have been commenting that the COVID-19 context has given a rare opportunity rethink how Pacific economies operate. Specifically they have asked whether kastom ekonomi provides an avenue to shed dependency on developed nations and the fickle global economy. Rousseau and Taylor (2012) provided a basis for thinking about this possibility, its obstacles, and practicalities.

Marginalities
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Journal Article Review of Ryan (2001), “Tourism in the South Pacific – A Case of Marginalities”

In the public imaginary, Oceania is a remote region of tropical paradise, perfect for a family holiday away from the troubles of everyday life. As much as Oceania’s geographic, political and economic remoteness defines its islands as alluring holiday destinations, Chris Ryan (2001) argues that it is this very remoteness that also defines the tourism sector in Oceania as a “case of marginalities”. He argues in his article; Tourism in the South Pacific – A Case of Marginalities, that Oceania’s multifaceted remoteness marginalises its peoples, communities, and nations involved in the tourism sector. In this journal article review, Lucas Watt, Roxane de Waegh, and Greg Watt critique Ryan (2001) in reference to the current context in Oceania.

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The Mind-Trick of Participatory Development in Oceania

In this article, we investigate how participatory development programs are implemented in our own under-covered region of Oceania. We investigate how participatory programs do the opposite of what they promote, to subordinate local populations to pre-set foreign agendas. This idea is firstly explored in a discussion on the historical emergence of participatory development as a form of governance. We secondly analyze how such participatory development projects have been implemented in the Fijian Sugar Industry and in Community Based Fishery Management across Oceania. Lastly, we discuss the potential of Oceanic governments to break free of the mind trick of participatory development, and to reclaim the Oceanic development agenda.

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Vanuatu: The Historical-Social Context of Migration to Port Vila and the Moderating Effect of Kastom on Problems of Urbanisation.

Pacific culture is widely recognised for its rich vibrancy, interwoven social norms, and unique customs. Melanesian culture is viewed and revered by outsiders as a model of collectivised community; the last vestige of the authentic other from a past time. However, increasing globalisation, better access to transport and an insistence by developmental institutions to follow neo-liberal pathways have caused substantial societal disconnections. Urbanisation in the Pacific is not new; it has been occurring over many decades and will continue at an increasing rate in the years ahead. This article examines urbanisation in Vanuatu caused by the migration from Vanuatu’s outer islands to Port Vila. To date, the resilience of Ni-Vanuatu kastom has insulated many migrants from the hardship and issues caused by insufficient facilities, infrastructure and services. The article aims to provide a contextual overview up to the present time, noting cultural characteristics that are particular to the social situation of Ni-Vanuatu, but also recognising that there may be similar parallels across Melanesia.

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Homes of the Island Exile: A Historical Perspective

Exile is a word that signifies the forced physical expulsion from a place without the permission to return. For many, the idea of exile conjures an image of being removed from society and being abandoned on an uncharted island as commonly depicted in novels and movies. Exile has come to mean something different in the Oceanic context. The prospect of exile is not an unthinkable prospect for many island inhabitants and not something restricted to select groups of others or a concept rooted in fantasy. Historically, various social, cultural, political and environmental developments have caused islanders to be exiled from their home islands. This article explores the various forms of exile Oceanic people have experienced historically. It also explores a new form of tacit island exile emerging in Oceania. This form of exile is tacit in the sense that some inhabitants of rural islands are encouraged, but not explicitly forced, to migrate to informal settlements in urban areas. Such exile is prompted by island kin because of a lack of available rural land and opportunities. I argue the tacit nature of this form of exile affects how these exiles produce home in the urban context.