Intervention and state-building in the Pacific

The legitimacy of 'cooperative intervention'

Edited by Greg Fry and Tarcisius Kabutaulaka

Intervention and state-building in the Pacific
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  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9780719076831
  • Publish Date: May 2008
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    State-building intervention in weak, war-torn or failing states has become a priority for the international community. However, the question of how to legitimately engage in the shaping of national governance remains, at the very least, a vexed one.

    This book explores this key issue through a critical examination of a new model of state-building intervention which has recently emerged in relation to the Pacific 'arc of crisis'. Initiated by the Australian Government in 2003, this 'cooperative intervention' doctrine, built on declared principles of partnership and respect for sovereignty, seems to offer a legitimate way to engage in state-building intervention.

    Drawing on a group of distinguished Pacific specialists, this book mounts a critique of these claims, showing how international legitimacy does not automatically translate into political legitimacy among those in the affected societies; and how the attempt to legitimise the intervention internationally may actually work against such legitimacy in the recipient state.

    These insights will be of value to those interested in public policy studies, international law, development studies and international relations.


    This book is of contemporary importance given the ongoing array of constitutional and political crises in these Melanesian countries..."

    "Sinclair Dinnen (Chapter 6) provides excellent insights into the governance of security in Melanesia."

    "A major contribution of relevance in this book is its critique of the legitimacy of state-building interventions..."

    "... there is much of value in this book for anyone studying interventions and stabilization operations elsewhere in the world. Each author's contribution details the positive and negative implications of the interventions in Melanesia - lessons that can be applied to interventions in other so-called weak and failing states. These lessons are important to policy makers and academics alike.


    1. Political legitimacy and state-building intervention in the Pacific -
    Greg Fry and Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka
    2. Altered states: the politics of state failure and regional intervention - Terence Wesley-Smith
    3. Australia's intervention policy: a Melanesian learning curve? -Graeme Dobell
    4. 'Our patch': the war on terror and the new interventionism - Greg Fry
    5. Australia's new assertiveness in the Pacific: the view from 'the backyard' - Steven Ratuva
    6. Beyond state-centrism: external solutions and
    the governance of security in Melanesia - Sinclair Dinnen
    7. The new regionalism and its contradictions - Stewart Firth
    8. The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands in global perspective - Iris Wielders
    9. Intervention and nation-building in Solomon Islands: local responses - Gordon Leua Nanau
    10. Cooperation between Australia and Papua New Guinea:
    'enhanced' or enforced? - Allan Patience
    11. The Bougainville intervention: political legitimacy and
    sustainable peace-building - Anthony Regan
    12. Towards legitimate engagement - Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka and Greg Fry


    Greg Fry is Hedley Bull Fellow and Director of Graduate Studies in International Affairs in the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University. Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka is Research Fellow at the East-West Center's Pacific Islands Development Program

    Intervention and state-building in the Pacific

    Edited by Greg Fry, Tarcisius Kabutaulaka

    Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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