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The idea of a shared Melanesian identity has been consolidated over the last three decades or so through the most important subregional organisation in the South-West Pacific—the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). The solidarity of this group has been strained over various issues from time to time, but none is as fraught as the Indonesian occupation of what is commonly known as West Papua, whose indigenous Papuan people are ethnically Melanesian. In addition to recounting the Indonesian takeover of West Papua in the context of the dynamics of decolonisation, the Cold War and early regional development, the article examines the emergence of Melanesian identity and the MSG, before considering more recent developments. These focus on a recent bid by West Papuans for MSG membership, key aspects of Indonesia's role in the Melanesian subregion, and the extent to which these developments highlight competing logics in regional and international politics.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Australian Journal of International Affairs|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Sep 2016|
- identity politics
- Pacific Islands
- West Papua
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Regional Politics in the Southwest Pacific: From Colonialism and Cold War to the Asia-Pacific Century
Lawson, S. & MQRES, M.
1/01/14 → …