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Rethinking development in the Pacific Islands Forum countries

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  • Brauer, Jurgen

Abstract

Islands of the Pacific Ocean number in the many thousands. This essay focuses on a subset of islands, namely those — save Australia and New Zealand — belonging to the independent political entities gathered in the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). With a handful of economic concepts and indicators I show that, as a conventionally conceived economic proposition, the islands have to be "written off." Modern expectations in regard to cost competitiveness in production and high standards of living in consumption are incompatible goals for the islands to reach. The islands are not viable economies, and its peoples are likely to remain the permanent economic dependents they are, relying on fickle aid from well-off peoples and their policymakers located far away from the islands. Nonviable economies invite unstable polities and ruptured cultures. Strangely, in all this there lies hope in that rethinking the nature, meaning, and practice of development may offer feasible alternatives to reconstitute otherwise failing societies. Potentially, the islands could become a unique laboratory for trying out new ideas of what it means to live a dignified, self-reliant, self-sustaining, satisfied, and happy human life.

Suggested Citation

  • Brauer, Jurgen, 2016. "Rethinking development in the Pacific Islands Forum countries," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 6(1), pages 47-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:gok:ijdcv1:v:6:y:2016:i:1:p:47-60
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. International Monetary Fund, 2016. "Portugal: 2016 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Portugal," IMF Staff Country Reports 2016/300, International Monetary Fund.
    2. International Monetary Fund, 2016. "Vietnam: 2016 Article IV Consultation- Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Vietnam," IMF Staff Country Reports 2016/240, International Monetary Fund.
    3. International Monetary Fund, 2016. "Republic of Fiji: 2015 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Republic of Fiji," IMF Staff Country Reports 2016/054, International Monetary Fund.
    4. International Monetary Fund, 2016. "Peru: 2016 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; and Staff Report," IMF Staff Country Reports 2016/234, International Monetary Fund.
    5. International Monetary Fund, 2016. "South Africa: 2016 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for South Africa," IMF Staff Country Reports 2016/217, International Monetary Fund.
    6. International Monetary Fund, 2016. "Romania: 2016 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; Informational Annex; and Statement by the Executive Director for Romania," IMF Staff Country Reports 2016/113, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pacific Island Forum countries; economic development; ecological economics; peace economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • O56 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Oceania

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