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The Conflict

Since the 2003 publication of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s (ASPI) 2003 report, Our Failing Neighbour, the first line of which proclaimed that ‘Solomon Islands... is a failing state’, the label of ‘failed state’ has been routinely attached to the Solomon Islands.[1] This is not surprising, given its lack of security, crippled economy, ineffective government, and chronic underdevelopment. Despite this, however, the Solomon Islands’ descent into civil war is not a simple case of state failure or even of a ‘fragile state.’[2] Rather, conflict in the Solomon Islands was precipitated by an ‘intricate knot of fragilities’ borne of its ‘history and culture’, a complex web of grievances, perceived and real injustices, and a range of underlying and proximate causes that eventually erupted into open violence.[2]

  • [1] Elsina Wainwright, Our Failing Neighbour: Australia and the Future of SolomonIslands, Australia Strategic Policy Institute Report (Barton: ASPI, 2003), pp. 3, 6.
  • [2] Braithwaite et al., Pillars and Shadows, p. 1.
  • [3] Braithwaite et al., Pillars and Shadows, p. 1.
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