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Australia Oceania

By Michael C. Howard

In 1987 Fiji, which had usually been considered as a version for racial co-existence, stunned the remainder of the realm via staging now not one yet coups. such a lot interpreters of the Fijian political scene observed the occasions due to pressure among local Fijians and contributors of alternative ethnic teams. this article argues that this interpretation is simplistic. as a substitute, it issues out that the may well coup was once a strike opposed to democratic govt through components linked to Fiji's conventional oligarchy trying to disguise at the back of a masks of populist communalism. Howard lines the evolution of Fijian politics from the precolonial chiefdoms, during the colonial period and into the postcolonial interval, emphasizing the advancements throughout the latter 1/2 the Nineteen Eighties. As a detailed and concerned observer, he attracts a resounding photo of the best actors in modern Fijian politics and the factors guiding their activities. He describes how the ruling elite - the Fijian chiefly-families and their allies - has maintained its strength by means of manipulating communal or racially-based sentiments, and the way the competition has tried to alter the location by way of growing political alignments according to social category. within the crucial a part of the publication Howard chronicles the increase of the Fiji Labour celebration and its 1987 election victory over the ruling Alliance occasion. He then discusses the short-lived regime of the Bavadra executive and the occasions best as much as the may perhaps 1987 coup. ultimately, he appears to be like at occasions following the coup, because the oligarchy has sought to re-impose keep watch over within the face of renowned competition and inner department, discussing their implications for the social situation of Fiji, its foreign politics, and its inner ethnic kin. The booklet concludes with the dying of Timoci Bavadra in overdue 1989. A perceptive case learn of racial politics within the sleek global and an important new method of the certainty of the dynamics of a non-Western political process, the publication presents a finished research of modern occasions in Fiji.

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