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Kin and Gifts: Understanding the Kin-based Politics of Solomon Islands - The Case of East AreAre

CollectionsDPA Discussion Papers
Title: Kin and Gifts: Understanding the Kin-based Politics of Solomon Islands - The Case of East AreAre
Author(s): Hiriasia, Tony
Date published: 2016
Publisher: Canberra, ACT: Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University
Series/Report no.: Discussion Paper (The Australian National University, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program): 2016/4
Despite the claim that money and especially Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF) disbursement have played a major role in influencing political choices in the Solomon Islands national parliamentary elections (Commonwealth Secretariat 2014:3, 5; Cox 2015; Hague 2012; Haley and Zubrinich 2015; Morgan 2005:4; Wood 2014a), empirical evidence and election data suggest that political alliances in some rural constituencies are based more on kin relationship rather than gift exchanges and RCDF disbursements. Although gifting has attracted a lot of attention in the discussions about politics and elections in the Solomon Islands, it is kin relationship (more than anything else) that forms the basis for political alliances in the constituency politics. In the rural areas where social organisation is kin-based and institutions like the extended family or clan still play an important role in the lives of individuals, it is the social and biological bond between members and their loyalty to these institutions that set the foundation for collective political action and allegiance.
ISSN: 1328-7854


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