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Beyond the politics of race : an alternative history of Fiji to 1992

CollectionsANU Pacific Institute
Title: Beyond the politics of race : an alternative history of Fiji to 1992
Author(s): Sutherland, William
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Political and Social Change, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University.
Series/Report no.: Political and Social Change Monograph: no. 15
When the democratically-elected Coalition Government of Dr T1moci Bavadra was ovenhrown in a military coup in May 1987 the world was stunned. Fiji had long been seen as a shining example of stable and democratic government. Now the image was shattered. And in the search for explanations the racialist olthodoxy which for so long predominated in explanations of Ftji politics once again reared its ugly head. Fiji politics was the politics of race, and the crisis of 1987 was just another example of this. In the wake of the Alliance's defeat, according to this line of argument, Fiji's paradigmatic multiracial harmony could no longer be sustained because the balance of racial forces had changed ftmdamentally and unacceptably. Fijians were no longer prepared to tolerate the 'threat of Indian domination. Indians 'controlled' the economy, now they also had political power. To Fijians this was intolerable. The upheavals of 1987 were therefore explained as an attempt by Fijians to reaffirm and protect the 'paramountcy of Fijian interests'. - Introduction


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