Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 60
The small island countries of the South Pacific region face a decisive decade in the 1990s. Reduction in strategic tensions at the global level and rapid growth in the economies of the Pacific Rim promise opportunities for small-state economic and political diplomacy. New generation Pacific Island leaders are determined to play a more influential role in international forums; to shed the 'back-water' image of the South Pacific region; and to sink the notion that the region is an 'ANZUS Lake.' Yet security -defined broadly with a small 's' - remains a constant preoccupaiton. To the on-going threats of economic vulnerability and resource protection have now been added those of environmental change and domestic political instability.
The essays in this monograph address these security concerns and raise many additional questions including the value of regionalism, the role of 'big brothers' (Australia and New Zealand), and the impact on island polities of western ideas and values. They conclude that the prospects for a stable and secure regional order in the 1990s lie in the effective management of political and economic change and in the emergence of a coherent, 'Oceanic' view of security.
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