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Book Cover
Book
Author Lawson, Stephanie, author

Title Tradition versus democracy in the South Pacific : Fiji, Tonga, and Western Samoa / Stephanie Lawson
Published Cambridge ; Melbourne : Cambridge University Press, 1996
©1996

Copies

Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 W'PONDS  320.496 Law/Tvd  AVAILABLE
Description x, 228 pages : maps ; 24 cm
Series Cambridge Asia-Pacific studies
Cambridge Asia-Pacific studies.
Contents Tradition and democracy -- Constitutional development, chiefly power, and the politics of tradition in Fiji -- The monarchy versus democracy in the kingdom of Tonga -- Preserving tradition through democratisation: the introduction of universal suffrage in Western Samoa
Summary Lawson is critical of cultural relativism, a concept which, she suggests, limits the discussion of democracy in non-Western countries and leads to deterministic stereotypes. Relativism can also reinscribe an essentialist framework, creating an ethical void in which little of critical value can be said. She is equally skeptical, however, of universalist positions which seek to promote a single, fixed conception of democratic politics and which can be as dogmatic in assumption as relativist modes of theorizing
Much recent literature on non-Western countries celebrates the renaissance of indigenous culture, Tradition Versus Democracy in the South Pacific, however, looks more critically at Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa, showing how current movements to reclaim and celebrate 'tradition' may protect the power and privileges of indigenous elites and promote political conservatism. Stephanie Lawson argues that opposition to 'Western' democracy in the name of 'tradition' is not necessarily representative of indigenous people at the grassroots level, and is often carefully manipulated to benefit an elite
Analysis Fiji
Politics
Samoa
Tonga
Case studies
Democracy
Fiji
Overseas item
Political change
Politics
Samoa
Tonga
Western Samoa
Notes Includes index
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 206-221) and index
Notes English
Subject Democracy -- Fiji.
Democracy -- Oceania -- Case studies.
Democracy -- Samoa.
Democracy -- Tonga.
Fiji -- Politics and government.
Samoa -- Politics and government.
Tonga -- Politics and government.
Genre/Form Case studies.
LC no. 95032415
ISBN 0521496381 (hardback : alk. paper)
9780521496384
ABBREV TI ASIA-PACIFIC STUDIES, VOLUME 2
Tradition versus Democracy in the South Pacific
Other Titles Cambridge : Cambridge University Press