Tradition versus democracy in the South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa

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108 Citations (Scopus)


The approach taken in this book is one which defends certain aspects of Western democratic politics, not only from a Western standpoint, but also from the perspective of the people in the country studies. The first section of the book is concerned with tradition and democracy, this is followed by the three case studies which combine political, historical and anthropological approaches. Constitutional development, chiefly power and the politics of tradition are discussed in relation to Fiji; the monarchy versus democracy is the focus for Tonga; and in respect of Western Samoa the author discusses preserving tradition through democratisation - the introduction of universal suffrage. The concluding section covers tradition versus the West. The case studies show that each country has a unique body of culture or tradition; that each has had very different experience with imperialism and European contact; and each has developed different approaches and responsibilities to politics since independence, however a number of common threads run through their varying cultural, historical and political experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages228
ISBN (Print)0521496381, 9780521496384
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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