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Mitigating the risk to primitive accumulation: State-building and the logging boom in Solomon Islands

Hameiri, S. (2012) Mitigating the risk to primitive accumulation: State-building and the logging boom in Solomon Islands. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 42 (3). pp. 405-426.

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In recent years, various forms of inter/transnational state-building have become increasingly common as a way of managing the perceived risk posed by dysfunctional governance in so-called fragile states to Western security. In Solomon Islands, the Australian government has led a robust and expansive regional intervention, designed to build the capacity of the Solomon Islands government and bureaucracy to provide more effective governance. Dominant approaches to state-building link state failure with a failure of development and typically involve considerable efforts to promote economic development through the establishing of institutional structures seen to be supportive of liberal markets. Though economic activity has expanded considerably in Solomon Islands following the initial 2003 intervention, much of this has occurred in the unsustainable logging industry, whose expansion is reliant upon primitive accumulation. Therefore, to the extent that the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands' (RAMSI) state-building programmes have supported market-led growth, they have unwittingly acted to mitigate the risk to primitive accumulation. However, the logging boom occurring on RAMSI's watch is likely to lead to future social and political instability, either as a result of resource-depletion or due to bottom-up forms of social conflict around the destruction of local habitats.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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