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Title: Demography, migration and conflict in the Pacific
Contributor(s): Ware, H (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1177/0022343305054090
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Abstract: This article explores the relationships between demography and internal conflict in the Pacific Island countries, focusing on the three subregions Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. These countries confront distinctive challenges and opportunities because of their unique cultures and non-militarized status, combined with very small size and remote locations. The use of the MIRAB model of island economies based on migration, remittances, aid and bureaucracy is extended to examine its impact on social cohesion and the avoidance of internal conflict. For Polynesia, MIRAB is found to be a sustainable development strategy. Continuous emigration from Polynesia serves to reduce population pressure and communal tensions. Further, remittance income supports the Polynesian economies, and this also reduces the potential for conflict. For Micronesia, except Kiribati and Nauru, migration access to the USA is assured. In contrast, for the Melanesian countries, there is minimal emigration, rapid population growth and considerable intercommunal tension, which has resulted in several coups and one 'failed state'. Demographic pressure created by rapid population growth results in a lack of employment opportunities for youths (who provide the majority of participators in civil unrest and conflicts) rather than in direct pressure on land and other natural resources.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Peace Research, 42(4), p. 435-454
Publisher: Sage Publications
Place of Publication: London
ISSN: 0022-3433
Field of Research (FOR): 160607 International Relations
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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