Tradition versus Democracy in the South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa - Cambridge Asia-Pacific Studies (Hardback)
  • Tradition versus Democracy in the South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa - Cambridge Asia-Pacific Studies (Hardback)
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Tradition versus Democracy in the South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa - Cambridge Asia-Pacific Studies (Hardback)

(author)
£94.00
Hardback 244 Pages / Published: 26/01/1996
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Much literature on non-Western traditions celebrates the renaissance of indigenous cultures. Others have been more critical of this renaissance, especially with respect to its political implications. This study analyses the assertion of 'tradition' by indigenous elites, looking especially at the way it is used to differentiate 'the West' from the 'non-West'. This is important to contemporary discussion about the validity of democracy outside the West and problems concerning universalism and relativism. The discussion of Fiji focuses on constitutional development and the traditionalist emphasis on chiefly legitimacy. The rise of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Tonga is considered against the background of a conservative political order that has so far resisted pressure for reform. The move to universal suffrage in Western Samoa is seen not as a rejection of traditional ways in favour of democratic norms, but as a means of preserving important aspects of traditional culture.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521496384
Number of pages: 244
Weight: 530 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Stephanie Lawson specializes in Fifian politics, nationalism, and ethnic relations, and her comparative discussion of these polities shows impressive breadth and depth of research. The author's endnotes are extensive, and her bibliography is comprehensive....The issue at hand is not only important to Pacific scholars but also relevant to many other post-colonial societies, and Lawson's well-documented arguments should inform a wide range of historians." David A. Chappell, Historian
"This book contributes to a number of contemporary debates....It is therefore a timely and significant book. Each country is treated in great detail and current political developements are put in their historical context. This provides a useful reference book for students of contemporary Pacific isalnd politics. But this is also a provocative book....There are many imponderables thrown up by this book, which is perhaps one of its most provocative and important aspects....Lawson's book will be an essential part of this debate." H-Net Reviews
"Lawson argues her case well, and her analyses are clear, concise, and well presented. The volume is a valuable contribution to the study of Pacific island societies and provides a useful guide for the analysis of contemporary politics elsewhere." Robert C. Kiste, American Anthropologist
"One of the strengths of Lawson's analysis is that she both sets up an accessible theoretical discussion about tradition, modernity, authenticity, democracy, and offers concrete and comparative case studies of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa....This is refreshing scholarship that should make for lively ongoing debate." K.R.Howe, American Historical Review

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