The Teleology and Romance of State-building in Solomon Islands

Jon Fraenkel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The 2003-13 Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is widely depicted as an ambitious 'state-building' project in the mould of contemporary interventions in Bosnia, Iraq, East Timor and Kosovo. Yet no new constitution was put in place in Solomon Islands, and, in practice, the core Australian policing components of the mission were largely substituted for their local counterparts. Unlike most state-building missions, RAMSI did not assume executive authority, and the critical relationship with the Indigenous government soon deteriorated, particularly after the election-related riots of April 2006. The teleological framing of RAMSI as a 'state-building' operation largely draws on heroic claims about future intentions made during the early phase of the mission, whereas, after the crises of 2006-07, RAMSI officials were engaged mostly in playing down expectations, narrowing the mission's objectives and preparing an exit strategy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)398-418
    JournalJournal of Pacific History
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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