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The region within: RAMSI, the Pacific Plan and new modes of governance in the Southwest Pacific

Hameiri, S. (2009) The region within: RAMSI, the Pacific Plan and new modes of governance in the Southwest Pacific. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 63 (3). pp. 348-360.

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In recent years, there has been a resurgence of regionalism and regional initiatives in the Southwest Pacific, driven primarily by the Australian government. There is little doubt that the new regionalism has largely been prompted by the Australian government's realigned security agenda following the September 11 and Bali terrorist attacks, and broader concerns about 'non-traditional' security risks. However, what is novel about this recent drive for regionalism in the Southwest Pacific is that rather than constituting a transformation of the interstate terrain, it is primarily aimed at the transformation of the state itself. The spaces where the new regionalism is found are mainly located within states. Earlier forms of regionalism, which to some extent continue to exist, typically involved intergovernmental agreements to facilitate freer trade or establish defence alliances between states. In contrast, the new regionalism constitutes various modes of multilevel governance that work to selectively dislodge the linkages between territory and political authority and/or jurisdiction, building transnational forms of regulation and surveillance into the state. This is not simply a descriptive issue but one that has considerable implications for our analysis of the social and political implications of such regional programs, as well as the kinds of coalitions emerging to support or resist these.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Routledge
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