Synopsis of the Africanization of the South Pacific Thesis: Is the Africanization Thesis a True Diagnosis of Instability in Melanesia
8 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2009
Date Written: August 27, 2009
Ben Reilly (2000) states in his article titled “The Africanization of the South Pacific” in the Australian Journal of International Affairs that these are troubling times for Democracy in the South Pacific. In the last 3 decades the Pacific has seen a growing trend of political uncertainty and instability that has resulted in armed conflict and in political violence (Henderson and Watson, 2005). Of particular interest is the fact that the majority of the instability and uncertainty has been occurring within Melanesia.
Henderson and Watson (2005) have used the term “Arc of Instability” to describe the aforementioned Melanesian States and this is reflective of the level of political instability and uncertainty that these States have experienced.
This paper looks at the main arguments proffered by Reilly in his Africanization of the South Pacific Thesis and aims to focus the discussion in the light of whether it is a true and proper diagnosis of what has been manifested in the South Pacific Region. For ease of analysis, I will concentrate on the Melanesian States in particularly Fiji and the Solomon Islands to determine the extent of the relativity of Reilly’s Thesis.
Keywords: Africanization, South Pacific, Melanesia, Arc of Instability, Fiji, Solomon Islands
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