Primary Landing Page

Our research is structured around five thematic areas which align with the Department’s contribution to thePacific Research Program.

Senator Penny Wong in Fiji (May 2022) - Roundtable with women leaders
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website –

Gender, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI)

Research conducted by the Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) is inclusive. Our intersectional lens captures Pacific diversity across gender, age, ethnicity/race, sexuality, disability, geography, culture and religion.

Subtopics within this program of research include:

  • Safety and security
  • Health and security
  • Inclusive leadership and political participation
  • Education and inclusion
Laisiasa Dave

Pacific migration and integration

Examining temporary and permanent migration to and from the Pacific region is an important area of our work. Our research has focused on Pacific labour schemes such as New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE) and the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) schemes since 2007.

Subtopics within this program of research include:

  • Understanding economic and social impacts of temporary migration 
  • The impact of Pacific migration on Australia 
  • Sustainable pathways: the future of Pacific integration
Street sellers marketing their products to motorists in traffic in front of City Hall
by Roan Paul

Papua New Guinea including Bougainville

Pacific states and their institutions are being actively shaped by political economy factors, including the way natural resources are exploited, land is acquired and used, and the environment is affected.

Subtopics within this program of research include:

  • Decentralisation, service delivery and sub-national governance
  • Political economy of PNG
  • Future political status of Bougainville
  • Crime, justice and safety
  • Digital PNG
DPA Election Observation team, Samoa 2016
by DPA

Politics, governance and economic resilience

Through the PRP Phase II, DPA is further building on an extensive record of research into politics, governance and economic resilience within and across the Pacific.

Subtopics within this program of research include:

  • Decentralisation, service delivery and sub-national governance
  • Elections and electoral politics
  • Political attitudes
  • Political participation
  • Economic development and economic resilience
Police checking a vehicle's authorisation to travel from one containment zone to another during the peak of Fiji's second COVID 19 outbreak.
by Laisiasa Dave

Security, regionalism and geopolitics

Our research seeks to understand Pacific responses to the trends identified above, and the ways these play into relations with both traditional and emerging partners, and into Pacific regionalism.

Subtopics within this program of research include:

  • New understandings of Pacific security
  • Pacific regionalism
  • Diplomacy in the Pacific
Islands of Hope: Pan-Pacific Indigenous Resource Management in a Changing Pacific
In the Pacific, as elsewhere, indigenous communities live with the consequences of environmental mismanagement and over-exploitation but rarely benefit from the short-term economic profits.
State and Society in Papua New Guinea, 2001–2021
A collection of papers written between 2001 and 2021, which update the story of political and social development in Papua New Guinea in the first two decades of the twenty-first century.
The Federated States of Micronesia’s Engagement with the Outside World
This study addresses the neglected history of the people of the Federated States of Micronesia’s (FSM) engagement with the outside world.