Blog Link: The Transition Tango in Fiji.

Over at 36th Parallel Assessments I explore some of the dynamics that are and will be key factors in the political transition to free and open elections in Fiji scheduled for mid 2014. Unique circumstances in Fiji notwithstanding, the success of a transition from military-bureaucratic authoritarianism to freely elected government (if not democracy) hinges on some key factors, particularly the interplay between regime and opposition hard- and soft-liners. The essay explains how and why.

5 thoughts on “Blog Link: The Transition Tango in Fiji.

  1. Pablo:

    What is your take on the new appointment of pro Bainimarama Lawyer Shaista Shameem as “director-new migrants”at Massey?
    I have to admit to some surprise at the choice even with the current thawing of relations?

  2. One has to wonder about Massey’s recruitment criteria for senior positions. It is clear that this was a shoulder-tap because she has limited academic credentials and yet is named as full professor and “director–new migrants?” WTF is that? Admission officer for foreign students now elevated to managerial levels? What doe she teach or research?. She is a zero tier academic and has such jobs?

    Given her support for the 2006 coup and her participation in the 2006-2009 dictatorship, she should not be allowed anywhere close to an institution in which the free expression of ideas is paramount (or should be, since academic freedom in NZ is a myth, as I found out personally).

    There were many problems with Fijian democracy before the 2006 coup but she went a bit too far with her support of it.,

    She recently got a Ph.D. in sociology from Waikato (I shall not comment on the quality of such a degree) and apparently has a law doctorate from Auckland but has no serious academic publications to her name. She worked with the UN on mercenaries (one wonders if she is for or against).

    I wonder how that supposedly made her the best qualified candidate for the job of dealing with new migrant students.

    I rarely agree with Winston on anything, but he is right in his assessment of this case.

  3. Yes Pablo I agree, only academics with the correct political views should be appointed to universities. Otherwise how can we see their commitment to freedom of expression?

  4. Sorry Dominic, but you are showing your ignorance. This person is unqualified for a senior academic position, appointed to what is clearly a sinecure for reasons that have nothing to do with merit. She is an authoritarian regime apologist who has written then the stifling of civil liberties and freedom of expression are necessary in Fiji, so her commitment to the latter is suspect at the very least.

    If you think that is the type of person who should be both a full professor and a director of a university office, then you clearly are cut from the same cloth as she is.

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