Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabi & Bibliographies



Syllabi & Bibliographies

Internet Resources


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.

Te’o Fairbairn, Charles Morrison, Richard Baker, and Sheree Groves (1991). The Pacific Islands: Politics, Economics, and International Relations. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Also some articles and excerpts as assigned.

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. The final session of the course will be a feedback session on how to improve this course for future classes.

Pacific Islands Security and Development

Course Schedule and Readings

Session 1: October 17: Introduction/Orientation. Course Format and Expectations.

Session 2: October 19: Visions/Images of the Region.

Readings: Epeli Hau’ofa, "Our Sea of Islands"

Chapter 1 of The Pacific Islands, pp 3-14.

Session 3: October 24: Security Dilemmas
Readings: Desmond Ball, "The Changing Asia/Pacific Security Environment and the South Pacific," in Stephen Henningham and Desmond Ball (editors), 1991. South Pacific Security: Issues and Perspectives, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre Monograph no. 72, Canberra: Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, pp. 1-10.
Stephen Bates, "South Pacific Island Perceptions of Security," in Peter Polomka (editor), 1989. The Security of Oceania in the 1990s, Volume 2: Managing Change, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre Monograph no. 60, Canberra: Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, pp. 39-51.

Session 4: October 26: Security Issues Continued

Readings: James Gosselin, "Security through Economic Reform and Regional Cooperation: A View from the Cook Islands," from David Hegarty and Peter Polomka (editors), 1989. The Security of Oceania in the 1990s, Volume 1: Views from the Region, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre Monograph no. 60, Canberra: Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, pp. 44-49.
Ken Ross, "Asia and the Security of the South Pacific’s Island States," Survival 38:3, Autumn 1996, pp 129-143.

Session 5: October 31: Economic and Development Dilemmas

Readings: Chapter 3 of The Pacific Islands, pp. 39-64.

Session 6: November 2: Economics and Development Continued

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

ram, "The MIRAB Model Twelve Years On," The Contemporary Pacific 11:1 (Spring): 105-138.

Session 7: November 7: Environmental Issues

Readings: The Pacific Islands, pp. 96-98.

William C.G. Burns, (no date, 1999?). "The Possible Impacts of Climate Change on Pacific Island State Ecosystems," occasional paper of Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security.

Session 8: November 9: Environment Continued

Readings: Draft Pacific Island’s Framework for Action on Climate Change

David Sheppardand 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 9: November 14: Other Transnational Issues

Readings: Chapter 4 in The Pacific Islands, pp. 65-81.

Hideyushi Takahashi, 1999. "Maldivian national security—and the threats of mercenaries," Round Table (July).

Session 10: November 16: Transnational Issues Continued

Readings: Bisnodat Persaud, 1995. "Alternative Energy Sources for Small Island Developing States," Small Islands, Big Issues: Crucial Issues in the Sustainable Development of Small Developing Islands, United Nations University, pp. 1-37.

Session 11: November 21: Visions and Strategies—Introduction

Readings: Epeli Hau’ofa, "The Ocean In Us"
  Chapter 6 in The Pacific Islands, pp. 103-110.

Session 12: November 28: Visions and Strategies—Individual Presentations

Session 13: December 5: Bringing it All Together: A Communal Vision of the Pacific

Session 14: December 7: Wrap Up

Pacific Islands Security and Development

Suggested Additional Readings

The readings listed below are offered to supplement this course, but are not required for it. They are presented so that the interested fellow may further his/her reading on a particular subject that cannot be pursued in greater depth in this course.

Alexander, Ronni, 1994. Putting the Earth First: Alternatives to Nuclear Security in Pacific Island States. Honolulu: Matsunaga Institute for Peace, University of Hawai’i Press.

Asian Development Bank, 1998. A Different Kind of Voyage: Development and Dependence in the Pacific Islands. Manila: Asian Development Bank.

Carew-Reid, Jeremy, 1989. Environment, Aid and Regionalism in the South Pacific, Pacific Research Monograph no. 22, Canberra: National Centre for Development Studies, Research School of Pacific Studies, the Australian National University.

King, Peter, 1991. "Redefining South Pacific Security: Greening and Domestication," in Ramesh Thakur (editor), The South Pacific: Problems, Issues, and Prospects. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Smith, Roy, 1998. South Pacific: Values, Risks, and Vulnerability in Small Island Developing States. Economic Division Working Papers 98/2. Canberra: National Centre for Development Studies, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, the Australian National University. (Available online)



Pacific Islands Security and Development

APCSS Executive Course 00-3

Assignment for Session 12: Visions and Strategies: Presentations

Sessions 11, 12, and 13 are scheduled for the development and presentation of visions for the Oceania region. Session 11 will focus on Epeli Hau’ofa’s followup to his "Our Sea of Islands" essay that began this course. Session 12, scheduled for 28 November (Tuesday), is the date for the individual presentations from the fellows as to their nation’s view of the Pacific region: Security/Development Concerns and Proposals for Action.

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

Oceania Fellows: The assignment for 28 November 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 three top concerns facing your nation today?
    2. What does your nation plan to do 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.

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?

Your presentations should try to be around 10 minutes, though if we go long and cannot get everyone in on the 28th, we will finish up on 30 November (a date which is mistakenly not on the syllabus). We’ll consider that session 11½. The last part of Session 11½ and all of Session 12 will be devoted to crafting a communiqué somewhat along the lines of the Pacific Islands Forum, but with the active participation of dialogue partners. The communiqué will be created in class (it may be the only time we use the computer in class) and its contents will be drawn up in the Pacific Way of consensus. The communiqué will try to identify problems and offer specific solutions on these issues. The communiqué will be non-attributed and copies will be made for all fellows as a potential vision for the Pacific for the future.

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

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:

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.

Upload: 12/11/2000

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