Vakavanua, vakamatanitū: discourses of development in Fiji

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Discourses about development have contributed to profound socio-economic transformation in all parts of the world. This paper examines the development debate in Fiji with particular reference to two distinctive approaches: state-led developmentalism (vakamatanitū) and a discourse about custom-led development (vakavanua). Political and economic dimensions of these alternative discourses are reviewed with particular reference to land tenure systems in Fiji. Challenges to both vakamatanitū and vakavanua from an emerging literature on globalism will shift the focus of debate from ‘intentional’ to ‘immanent’ development in Fiji.

Keywords: Fuji; agriculture; development; land development; land tenure; post-development

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: School of Global Studies, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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