Beyond Life Support? Reflections on Solomon Islands after the Regional Assistance Mission

Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 6-15, 2016

Crawford School Journal Publication

10 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2016 Last revised: 7 Apr 2016

See all articles by Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen

Australian National University (ANU)

Sinclair Dinnen

Australian National University (ANU)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 15, 2016

Abstract

The Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands was conceived in the 'state-building moment' that informed Western responses to 'state failure' over the past two decades. That moment has Now passed with renewed fiscal austerity, growing scepticism with interventionism, and shifts in Australia's regional policy priorities. The decade-long mission, which has recently begun to drawdown, was successful in restoring security to Solomons but less so in its more ambitious state-building efforts. Among the key constraints has been the mission's inability to influence a more inclusive political settlement. We highlight inherent tensions between instrumentalised approaches to state building and more organic processes of state formation. Looking forward, we consider how external assistance can contribute to state formation while retaining a focus on the 'life support' objectives of state building. We sketch some possibilities for hybrid forms of institutional development that might combine strengths from both local and liberal orders.

Keywords: intervention, state building, Solomon Islands

Suggested Citation

Allen, Matthew and Dinnen, Sinclair, Beyond Life Support? Reflections on Solomon Islands after the Regional Assistance Mission (January 15, 2016). Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 6-15, 2016, Crawford School Journal Publication, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2733954

Matthew Allen (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Sinclair Dinnen

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

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