Sustaining the Gains in Post-RAMSI Solomon Islands
The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) recently concluded at an estimated cost to Australia of AU$2.6 billion between 2003 and 2013. RAMSI was originally conceived in the ‘state-building moment’ that shaped Western responses to ‘state failure’ in the late 1990s and first decade of the new millennium. That moment has now passed, with renewed fiscal austerity, growing scepticism about liberal interventionism, as well as organisational changes and policy shifts in Australia’s foreign relations. Drawing on a recent workshop presentation (Allen and Dinnen forthcoming), we consider how post-RAMSI donor assistance can help sustain gains made over the past decade. Referencing research in rural Solomons and neighbouring Bougainville, we sketch some possibilities for hybrid forms of institutional and economic development capable of accommodating the strengths of both local and liberal orders.
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