A paradox of tradition in a modernising society: Chiefs and political development in Fiji

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Abstract

A principle of shared national citizenship is a necessary condition for equitable development to meet basic human needs. In Fiji, the achievement of such a principle, still problematic nearly 30 years after political independence, must be based on the ideological and institutional management of deep ethnic difference. The centrality of chieftainship in framing Fijian ethnic identity has favoured this by constraining conflict with Indians and facilitating agreements for sharing land and political power. My theme refutes a commonly held view that the chiefs have been an obstacle to national integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-158
Number of pages17
JournalPacific Policy Paper of the Australian National University, National Centre for Development Studies
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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