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The Africanisation of the South Pacific

Reilly, B. (2000) The Africanisation of the South Pacific. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 54 (3). pp. 261-268.

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These are troubled times for democracy in the South Pacific. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War, many optimistic observers had come to take for granted the appeal of democratic government as a guiding norm around the world. Alternative regime models, they argued, had simply lost any claim to legitimacy they might once have enjoyed. The ‘end of history’ was nigh. Even the much-vaunted ‘Asian model’ of quasi-authoritarian government appeared to lose its appeal as an alternative that could be emulated after the Asian economic crisis of 1997–98. But the events of the past year suggest that declarations of democracy’s inexorable march forward may have been premature. Across the world, initially promising cases of democratisation in Russia, Southern Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and elsewhere have proven to be less consolidated and more unstable than many of the more optimistic observers expected in the early 1990s.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: Australian Institute of International Affairs
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