• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Pacific Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
The Pacific Islands are a region of increasingly dramatic political change and external intervention. The year 2006 was marked by a coup in Fiji, its fourth since independence, and riots in both Tonga and Solomon Islands.  Australia has been deeply engaged with the region in a myriad of ways, from high profile peace-building and state building interventions such as the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) through to more conventional modes of development aid assistance. The Pacific Islands’ on-going political and social instability reflects deep-seated state and nation-building challenges faced by the post-colonial democracies that mostly constitute of the region.  The theoretical approaches of the course will draw from political science and international  relations, for example theories of the state, nationalism, humanitarian intervention and international organisation.  The course will be team-taught by five or six senior Pacific scholars with strong overall coordination provided by two course convenors (see below). All of the proposed teaching staff have extensive teaching experience at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level.  Tutors would be drawn from Pacific scholars and Ph.D. students.     

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Students will have an improved understanding of the complexity and rich diversity of perspectives on Pacific politics. Students will have a deepened and richer understanding of the pacific region and some of the countries therein. Students will have a dynamic conception of the varied political systems, processes and interactions of the post-colonial pacific islands.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial Presentation & Participation - 10%

Group Research Project - 20%

Essay of 2500 words - 20%

Learning Journal - 20%

Final Examination - 30%

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The course will taught by means of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You may not enrol in this course if you have previously completed POLS2055.

Prescribed Texts

Dinnen, S. and Firth, S. 2008. Politics and State Building in Solomon Islands. Canberra: ANU E Press and Asia Pacific Press. Fry, G. and Kabutaulaka, T.T. 2008. (eds). Intervention and State-Building in the Post-Colonial Pacific. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Larmour, P. 2005. Foreign Flowers: Institutional Transfer and Good Governance in the Pacific Islands. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. Lawson, S. 1996. Tradition Versus Democracy in the South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  May, R.J. (ed). 2003.Arc of Instability. Melanesia in the Early 2000s. Christchurch: MacMillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury. Stewart Firth (ed). 2006. Globalization and Governance in the Pacific Islands. State, Society and Governance in Melanesia, Studies in State and Society in the Pacific, No.1 Canberra: ANU E Press. Tokalau, J. and Frazer, I. (eds). 2006. Redefining the Pacific? Regionalism, Past, Present and Future. Bryant-Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited. Articles Fraenkel, J. 2004. The Coming Anarchy in Oceania? A Critique of the Africanisation of the South Pacific Thesis. Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 42(1):1-34. Fry, G. 1997. Framing the islands: Knowledge and Power in Changing Australian Images of the South Pacific. The Contemporary Pacific, 9(2):305-344. Fukuyama, F. 2007. 



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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