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The 'Promise' of the 1970s: Ratu Mara on the World Stage

Corbett, Jack; Connell, John

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The present era of global governance presents enormous possibilities for small island states owing to their sovereign status in international organisations. Despite these apparent advantages asymmetries prevail as human resource constraints pose major obstacles for countries seeking to maximise their influence in global forums. This, however, was not the case in the late 1970s when Pacific leaders were far more assertive in regional and international forums. The most prominent such leader was...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCorbett, Jack
dc.contributor.authorConnell, John
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:15:32Z
dc.identifier.issn0035-8533
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/50714
dc.description.abstractThe present era of global governance presents enormous possibilities for small island states owing to their sovereign status in international organisations. Despite these apparent advantages asymmetries prevail as human resource constraints pose major obstacles for countries seeking to maximise their influence in global forums. This, however, was not the case in the late 1970s when Pacific leaders were far more assertive in regional and international forums. The most prominent such leader was Ratu Mara, the prime minister of Fiji. Examination of his role suggests the unusual nature of the decade of independence for most Pacific island states. This highlights the importance of both broader trends—the global push for self-determination, in the immediate post-colonial era, the particular dynamics of domestic Fijian politics, including Ratu Mara’s dominance of the government executive and the administrative support of close aides— and his own personal capabilities, specifically his international educational history and chiefly lineage. Four decades later such circumstances no longer exist. While that era provides a powerful illustration of the promise that global governance offers small island states and their leaders, the combination of circumstances that surround Ratu Mara’s political tenure simultaneously reaffirm the more general theme of limited influence.
dc.publisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
dc.sourceThe Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs
dc.subjectKeywords: governance approach; government relations; international organization; self determination; small island state; sovereignty; Fiji; Pacific islands; Pacific Ocean 'Pacific Way'; Fiji; global governance; Pacific Islands; Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara; small island states; South Pacific Commission
dc.titleThe 'Promise' of the 1970s: Ratu Mara on the World Stage
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume103
dc.date.issued2014
local.identifier.absfor160606 - Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
local.identifier.absfor169905 - Studies of Pacific Peoples' Societies
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4015830xPUB209
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCorbett, Jack, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationConnell, John, University of Sydney
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage301
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage310
local.identifier.doi10.1080/00358533.2014.918712
local.identifier.absseo940115 - Pacific Peoples Development and Welfare
local.identifier.absseo940299 - Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
dc.date.updated2020-12-27T07:28:55Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84903125658
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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