Fiji: The politics of conflict reduction

Jon Fraenkel

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Fiji’s 5 December 2006 military takeover entailed the collapse of an ambitious experiment in constitutional design aimed at mitigating conflict and encouraging the formation of a multi-ethnic government. In 1997, a new constitution was introduced that was influenced by the two best-known schools of thought as regards how to defuse conflict in deeply divided societies; those associated with Duke University Professor Donald Horowitz and University of California political scientist Professor Arend Lijphart. Inspired by the theories of Horowitz, the 1997 Constitution provided for the alternative vote system, but this did not work as expected at the elections of 1999, 2001 and 2006, which instead saw a polarization of the political scene (see Fraenkel 2001; Fraenkel and Grofman 2006). At the same time, inspired by the theories of Lijphart, the Constitution included a mandatory power-sharing provision, entitling all parties with over 10 per cent of seats to participate together in cabinet. This also did not work as expected, at least in 1999 and 2001, although a promising experiment commencing in May 2006 was cut short by a military coup in December 2006 (for further detail, see Fraenkel 2006). The programme of the post-coup military government included the abolition of both the Horowitzian alternative vote system and the Lijphartian multi-party cabinet rules.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDiminishing Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific: Why some subside and others don't
    Editors Edward Aspinall, Robin Jeffrey and Anthony J Regan
    Place of PublicationAbingdon and New York
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9780415670319
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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