Syllabi & Bibliographies

Internet Resources

Pacific Islands Security and Development (2003)

Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu

Class 03-1

Instructor: Dr Eric Shibuya




            This class will highlight some of the major questions of comprehensive security and development for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs).  The most significant common characteristic of this group is consciousness of their relatively small size and resources, which limit many options in regards to national security and economic development.  The main goal of this course is to survey the range of options available to smaller nations, both conceptually and practically, and to identify those avenues of action that might be most effective in serving the interests of these states.



            This is a new course in development, both in content and scope.  While its current incarnation focuses on the PICs, this does not mean that other regional states (Australia, New Zealand) will not be part of this discussion, nor does this mean that there will not be lessons of value for small states in general. The course will combine small lectures, readings and discussions.  The first half of the course will investigate our understanding of security and identify the major security (in a comprehensive sense) issues for the island states.

            The second half will examine potential policies that could be taken to address these issues at various levels (local, national, regional, international). We will attempt to move towards specifics in this half as much as we can. At the conclusion, the fellows will attempt to construct a vision for cooperation in the region.



Course Requirements

            Fellows will keep up with the assigned readings and will send the instructor (email or hard copy) 2-3 questions developed from the readings that will form the main basis of the class discussion.  The Fellows will also put together a short presentation of their visions near the end of the class.



Course Schedule and Readings


Session 1: February 4: Introduction/Orientation. Course Format and Expectations.


Session 2: February 6: Visions/Images of the Region


Readings: Epeli Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” Contemporary Pacific.


Session 3: February 11: Security Issues


Readings: Ron Crocombe, “Enhancing Pacific Security,” A Report prepared for the Forum Secretariat for presentation at the Forum Regional Security Committee, 13-15 June 2000.


Session 4: February 13: Security Issues Continued


Readings: Noel Levi, “Regional Strategies,” Remarks presented at Australian South Pacific Conference: The South Pacific—Zone of Peace or Sea of Troubles? 17-18 August 2000, Canberra, Australia.


Richard Herr, 1998. “Restructuring foreign and defence policy: the Pacific Islands,” from Anthony McGrew and Christopher Brook, (eds.), Asia-Pacific in the New World Order, New York: Routledge: 209-228


Session 5: February 18: Environmental Issues


Video: “Rising Waters: Global Warming and the Pacific Islands”


Session 6: February 20:  Environmental Issues Continued


Readings: Eric Shibuya, “Climate Change and Small Island States: Environmental Security as National Security,” Paper presented at Island State Security Conference, APCSS, June 2001.


Draft Pacific Island’s Framework for Action on Climate Change, Climate Variability, and Sea Level Rise


David Sheppard and Neva Wendt, 1992. “Institutional Strengthening in the Environmental Area in Pacific Countries,” in Ben Boer (editor), Strengthening Environmental Legislation in the Pacific Region, Apia: SPREP and UNEP, pp. 81-84.


Session 7: February 25: Economics and Development


Readings: Te’o I. J. Fairbairn, “Pacific Island Economies: Performance, Growth Prospects and the Impact of the Asian Economic Crisis,” Asian Pacific Economic Literature 13, 2 (November): 43-56.


A Different Kind of Voyage: Development and Dependence in the Pacific Islands, pp. 131-139


Session 8: February 27: Economic Development Continued


Readings:  Pierre Encontre, 1999. “The vulnerability and resilience of small island developing states in the context of globalization,” Natural Resources Forum 23: 261-270.


Dr. Terepai Maoate, Cook Islands Prime Minister, “Pacific Islands Economies in an Era of Globalization,” remarks at Sixth Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, Hawai’i, 30-31 January 2001.


Session 9: March 4: Other Issues: Transnational Crime


Readings: Douglas Ranmuthugala, 2001. “Security in the South Pacific: The Law Enforcement Dimension,” Revue Juridique Polynesienne 1, pp. 171-189.


Session 10: March 6: Other Issues Continued: Development Questions


Readings: Michael Ray Ogden, 1993. “Locating Technology in the Development Debate: From MIRAB to MIRTAB,” Chapter 6 in “Islands on the Net: Technology and Development Futures in Pacific Island Microstates,” PhD Dissertation, Political Science, University of Hawaii.


Session 11: March 11: Visions and Strategies—Introduction

 Readings: Epeli Hau’ofa, “The Ocean In Us,” Contemporary Pacific.  

Session 12: March 13: Visions and Strategies—Individual Presentations


Session 13: March 15: Individual Presentations Continued


Session 14: March 20: Bringing it All Together: A Communal Vision of the Pacific


Grade Level: Professional

Geographic Focus: Pacific

Discipline: Political Science

Name: Dr. Eric Shibuya

Institution: Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies

Address: APCSS, 2058 Maluhia Road, Honolulu, Hawai’i 96815

Phone: 808-971-8951

Fax: 808-971-8949

Email: shibuyae@apcss.org


The APCSS works with military and civilian officials from the US and around the Asia-Pacific region. The Center runs three 12-week courses per year, dealing with issues of comprehensive security. Within the course, several 8-week electives are offered, among them being this one. A fuller explanation of the Center can be found on its website: http://www.apcss.org.


COMMENT: Because of the somewhat unique nature of the student body of the Center, the main purpose of the readings was to spark discussion and raise issues among the fellows in the course. There is an article on transnational crime in the Maldives, which is the only specifically non-Oceania reading, but that was included to draw comparisons between regions and to discuss common issues among island states. Obviously, the events in Fiji and the Solomon Islands provided timely topics for this course, as well as the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Kiribati.  The “communiqué” format for the last assignment did not work as well, since it did not allow us to get to specific avenues of action for the island states. In class, the format was changed to a listing and discussion of individual state, regional, and international avenues for action available to the island states



Assignment for Session 12 & 13: Strategies and Cases: Presentations


Sessions 11, 12, 13 and 14 are scheduled for the development and presentation of visions for the Oceania region. Session 11 will focus on Epeli Hau’ofa’s follow-up essay to his “Our Sea of Islands” essay that began this course. Session 12 and 13, are the dates for the individual presentations from the Fellows on the subject: Security/Development Concerns and Proposals for Action.


This assignment is a critical piece to the course, in many ways; it is the most important piece. This is an opportunity to take the discussions in the elective to a practical, applied level. For the assignment to be as valuable as possible to you and the other members of the elective, some research might be necessary. The aim of the assignment is to give to those leaving the elective some practical pieces of advice and potential areas for cooperation.


The assignment is divided somewhat between Oceania fellows and fellows from “outside” the region.


Oceania Fellows: The assignment for Session 12/13 is as follows. You are the Head of Government of your country. You have been given the floor at the meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum to discuss the following issues:


  1. What are the major concerns facing your nation today (one or two)?
  2. What does your nation plan to do domestically to confront these issues?
  3. What regional/international proposals do you suggest to help address these issues?


It is hoped that you try and be as specific as possible, so that the class can identify real areas of agreement and disagreement, as well as advice and areas for cooperation.


Oceania Fellows: You can also play your Chief of Defense briefing your Head of Government on these issues prior to the Forum meeting. Choose the scenario that is more comfortable and offers the best educational value.


Non-Oceania Fellows: The assignment is slightly different. You are the Head of Government of your nation coming to attend the post-Forum dialogue. Rather than discussing the top concerns facing your nation, you should present:


  1. What role does your nation play in the region?
  2. What are the major issues for your nation in the Oceania region?
  3. What kinds of actions can you propose to improve life in the Pacific?


Non-Oceania Fellows: You may also choose to present a case study as to how your country has approached one of the issues that confront the Pacific Island States (as examples, piracy, drug smuggling, nation building, regional cooperation and economic development). This presentation should provide as much solid advice and honesty as to success and failure as possible.


Your presentations should try to be around 10 minutes. The last part of Session 13 all of Session 14 will be devoted to crafting a policy statement of security and prosperity for the Oceania region. The statement will be non-attributed and copies will be made for all fellows as a potential vision for the Pacific for the future.



Upload: 02/12/2003

oceania | academic programs | people | outreach | resources | publications
news & events | about the center | contact | home | text only site

© 2005, UHM, Center for Pacific Island Studies. | Site Credits