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Australian Foreign Policy and the RAMSI Intervention in Solomon Islands

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Title: Australian Foreign Policy and the RAMSI Intervention in Solomon Islands
Authors: Kabutaulaka, Tarcisius Tara
Keywords: conflict
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LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Kabutaulaka, T. T. 2005. Australian Foreign Policy and the RAMSI Intervention in Solomon Islands. The Contemporary Pacific 17 (2): 283-308.
Abstract: The Australian government’s decision to lead a Pacific Islands Forum regional
intervention into Solomon Islands marked a dramatic change in Australian policy
toward the Solomons in particular and the Pacific Islands region in general. It
demonstrated Australia’s willingness to play a more assertive role in the domestic
affairs of Pacific countries. The decision also reflected fundamental changes in
the global security environment following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the
United States and the perception that international terrorism has made it difficult
to separate external and internal security. Canberra was influenced by the idea
that terrorists could use “failed states” to pose security problems for Australia
(and other western countries). While Australia’s concerns about its own security
as well as the influence of Anglo-American security policies have led the Regional
Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands to concentrate on rebuilding the Solomon
Islands state, this paper argues that the post-conflict nation building process must
include other institutions besides the state—such as churches, community leaders,
nongovernmental organizations, women’s groups—that already have an influence
on society. This is particularly important for Solomon Islands, a country
where there have always been multiple centers of power, with the state not always
the most important. Further, post-conflict nation building must also involve the
mending and rebuilding of relationships between peoples while ensuring that foreign
assistance does not create a culture of dependency.
ISSN: 1043-898X
Appears in Collections:TCP [The Contemporary Pacific ], 2005 - Volume 17, Number 2

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