Greed and Grievance: Ex-Militants' Perspectives on the Conflict in Solomon Islands, 1998-2003
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264pp. September 2013
Greed and Grievance: Ex-Militants' Perspectives on the Conflict in Solomon Islands, 1998-2003
Author: Allen, Matthew G.;
This work offers important new perspectives on the violence and unrest that gripped Solomon Islands between late 1998 and mid-2003, a period known as the Ethnic Tension. Based on in-depth interviews and documents associated with the “Tension Trials,” it is the first detailed account of the conflict that engages directly with the voices of the men who joined the rival militant groups. These contemporary voices are presented against the backdrop of the socioeconomic and cultural history of Solomon Islands.

The findings provide a refreshing corrective to the pervasive framing of the Isatabu uprising and the Malaitan response as essentially criminal and apolitical activities driven by the self-interest of those who participated in them. Alternative motives for the men who participated in the Solomons conflict are elucidated, foremost of which are their own conceptions of history and of the places of their respective peoples in the historical processes of colonization, development, and nation-building. Uneven development, relative deprivation and rapid socioeconomic and cultural change are highlighted as salient structural causes of the unrest.

Greed and Grievance is an innovative and historically informed text that sheds critical new light on the conflict in Solomon Islands and will encourage considerable rethinking about the origins of instability in the Western Pacific. The book will be of value to students and scholars of Pacific history, anthropology, geography and political science, as well as to a wider audience of peace and conflict researchers and practitioners.” —Brij V. Lal, Topics in the Contemporary Pacific general editor

12 illus., 3 maps

Topics in the Contemporary Pacific Series
Author: Allen, Matthew G.;
Matthew G. Allen is a Fellow with the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at The Australian National University.
Read the excerpt (PDF)
From the General Editor ◊ vii
Preface ◊ ix
Acknowledgments ◊ xi
Bibliographic Conventions ◊ xv

1 - Introduction ◊ 1
2 - Solomon Islands and the Tension ◊ 30
3 - Kastom, Class, and Colonization ◊ 61
4 - Guadalcanal: The Contested Motherland ◊ 103
5 - Saving the Solomons: The Malaita Eagle Force ◊ 137
6 - Continuities and Symmetries ◊ 157
7 - The State, Resources, Identity, and Conflict ◊ 178

Appendix 1: “A Brief History of Ethnic Tension (South Guadalcanal)” ◊ 189
Appendix 2: “Guadalcanal Struggle for Freedom: Our History in Brief ” ◊ 193

Notes ◊ 197
References ◊ 217
Index ◊ 235



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