SSGM Seminar next Tuesday
The Fallacies of ‘State-Building’ in Solomon Islands
Jon Fraenkel, Victoria University of Wellington

7th October 2014 | 3 – 4PM
Lecture Theatre 2, 
Hedley Bull Centre (130)
Australian National University

The 2003-13 Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is widely depicted as an ambitious ‘state-building’ project in the mould of interventions in Bosnia, Iraq, East Timor and Kosovo. Yet no new constitution or legal system was put in place in Solomon Islands, and in practice the core Australian military and police components of the mission largely substituted for their indigenous 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 mission draws largely on a few grandiose official statements in the early part of the decade whereas – after the crises of 2006-7 – RAMSI officials were mostly engaged in playing down expectations, narrowing the mission’s mandate, and preparing an exit strategy.

Our mailing address is:

State, Society & Governance in Melanesia Program

Australian National University

Canberra, Act 0200



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