Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 06:10 | SYDNEY
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The South Pacific Fragile States Project

The aim of the Lowy Institute’s South Pacific Fragile States Project is to produce independent research and forward looking analysis on the key drivers of instability in the South Pacific and the associated security challenges for Australia and the wider region. This will include examining geopolitical challenges within an increasingly crowded and complex regional environment, domestic stresses faced by South Pacific nation states, and non-traditional challenges, such as climate change and transnational crime, that may destabilise the South Pacific.

The Project includes workshops and roundtables which will bring together external experts and government officials in an effort to build genuinely strategic approaches to complex issues relating to a broad national and regional security issues. The findings of the project will be published through analysis papers, a series of online articles in the Interpreter, and will be presented to the Australian government and wider public in a conference in early 2018.

The South Pacific Fragile State Project is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Defence.

Photo: Getty Images/DeAgostini

Latest Publications

Taiwan and its South Pacific allies

With fleeting news coverage, President Tsai Ing-wen of the Republic of China last month concluded official visits to Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, three diplomatic allies of Taiwan in the South Pacific. No surprises occurred during her South Pacific trip, which was based on

Conserving the Pacific’s fish stocks

The western and central Pacific Ocean is home to the world’s most productive tuna fisheries, supplying global markets with canned tuna, sashimi and other tuna products. Industrial catches of skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye, and albacore are collectively worth approximately US$5.7 billion per year and

Pacific air patrols will do more than combat illegal fishing

Protecting fish stocks from illegal fishing is of critical importance to the economy, food security and stability of Pacific Island countries. This makes Australia’s efforts to bolster the aerial surveillance capability of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) a particularly valuable

Australia, US and NZ military co-operation augurs well

Last month a combined force from five allied nations, including a fleet of 33 warships and submarines, over 200 aircraft and more than 33,000 military personnel, defeated an ‘enemy force’ in 20 locations across northern Australia. The enemy, of course, was an imaginary one and the battle was a

Talisman Sabre 17: The realisation of defence strategy

It was an Australian Defence Force (ADF) public relation officer’s dream. ABC news footage, delivered directly into the living rooms of Australian families, showed Australian troops and Australian armoured vehicles streaming across the beach and onwards into the hinterland of Queensland.

Three focus points for Turnbull at G20 summit

You have to hand it to Kim Jung Un. In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything. The launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile two days before the G20 summit ensures that North Korea jumps to the top of the Summit's agenda. With one push of the button - probably practically as well as

Resilience in the post-RAMSI era

Understanding how and when governments might intervene in failing countries is an art rather than a science. It requires detailed knowledge of the country in question, the resilience of the people and systems in relation to the emerging crisis, and the willingness of the people to accept an

An appetite for risk? Food security in the South Pacific

This post is part of the Lowy Institute's South Pacific Fragile States series. The food security situation in the South Pacific is marked by a paradox. While there is increasing availability of – and demand for – protein-rich and resource-demanding food, such as meat and dairy, imports of

Understanding resilience and fragility in the South Pacific

This post is part of the Lowy Institute's South Pacific Fragile States series. After the US withdrawal from both the Paris Accord and Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Pacific Islands region is looking for reassurance from Australia and the US. The recent AUSMIN summit did produce a joint statement