Pacific Futures


Event details


Date & time

Friday 10 September 2010


Coombs Seminar Room A, Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Anthony van Fossen and Peter Larmour


Peter Larmour
6125 4763
The Pacific Policy Project in the Crawford School & Pacific Studies in the School of Culture, History and Language.

Invite you to a Public Seminar on “Pacific Futures”


Anthony van Fossen, Griffith University

How do we understand the region’s uncertain prospects over the next four decades?ô˜ This paper compares and analyses the five major alternative scenarios for the future.ô˜ Will Pacific Island countries meet the challenges of globalization or face doomsday as failed, failing or fragile states?ô˜ Will a new spirit among the people of Oceania lead to their empowerment in the global community?ô˜ Will the South Pacific become even more trapped in webs of dependency?ô˜ Will migration and aid integrate the Islands into the Pacific Rim on terms agreeable to all?ô˜ Will Islanders have to make crucial ethical decisions in the face of growing Asianisation of their region?ô˜ The paper views these scenarios in terms of population, environment, politics, economics, aid, tourism, culture, media, and information technology.


Peter Larmour,Crawford School, ANU

Predictions of the future can act as warnings (like the Pacific 2010 Project), or embody aspirations (like various Vision 2020s or 2050s). In between lie attempts to predict what, realistically, will happen. We polled 15 economists and political scientists from Australia and the Pacific Islands about what was likely to happen to governance and growth in the region. We asked 20 fairly neutral simple questions (eg would there be more or less democracy; would growth be slow or fast). We used the ‘Delphi’ technique, in which the respondents’ answers are collated and circulated to allow for comments and second thoughts.ô˜ Respondents answer anonymously to reduce the effect of reputation, seniority or position as insider or outsider. Disagreements are noted: the aim is not to produce consensus. There was plenty of argument with the questions themselves. The results ’ to be presented at the seminar - are being used to provoke and identify research projects on ‘Pacific Futures’, the name of a Cooperative Research Centre bid planned for 2011.

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