Pacific Media Watch

10 February 2012

REGION: Latest Journal of Pacific Studies looks at peace-building

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Co-editors of the Journal of Pacific Studies Shailendra Singh (far right) and Dr Desmond Amosa (far left) with three contributors to the latest edition of the journal, Dr Levi Obijiofor (University of Queensland), Kalafi Moala (Taimi Media Network, Tonga) and Professor David Robie (AUT Pacific Media Centre)..

SUVA (University of the South Pacific / Pacific Media Watch): The University of the South Pacific has published a special themed edition of the Journal of Pacific Studies focusing on peace and conflict.

Edited by Shailendra Singh and Dr Desmond Amosa, the journal has attracted papers exploring conflict prevention and peace-building from the political, education, arts, media, gender and civil society perspectives.

Singh is former head of USP journalism who is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Queensland. Dr Amosa, also a former USP academic, is now the dean for the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship at the National University of Samoa.

This special issue is a collaboration between USP's Faculty of Business and Economics and the UNDP Pacific Peace Centre. The aim is to focus attention and stimulate research on conflicts in the region, looking at possible prevention and peace-building initiatives.

The peer-reviewed journal has published papers from keynote speakers at a USP seminar on peace-building, including Dr Levi Obijiofor (University of Queensland), Kalafi Moala (Taimi Media Network, Tonga) and Professor David Robie (AUT Pacific Media Centre). Other papers are from the University of Otago, University of Sydney and USP.

An editorial in the journal notes that while the Pacific region is regarded as peaceful compared to other parts of the world, conflicts are on the rise.

The four coups in Fiji between 1987 and 2006, the riots in Tonga in 2006, ethnic conflict in Solomon Islands in the late 1990s, sporadic tribal fighting in Papua New Guinea and rumblings in New Caledonia exemplify the nature of conflicts in our region, which is "Pacific" by name but not always so by nature, the editorial said.

It further comments that the Pacific has its own strong, if sometimes dormant, mechanisms for keeping peace. These traditional mechanisms are culturally entrenched, valued and respected; hence they should be studied and explored.

Finally, this issue also examines the role of the media in building a peaceful region. Peace journalism, a relatively new concept, is discussed as a potential way forward.
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