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Democracy and custom in Sāmoa : an uneasy alliance

Author: Asofou Soʻo
Publisher: Suva, Fiji : IPS Publications, University of the South Pacific, 2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Samoa became an independent state on 1 January 1962. In moving toward independence, Samoans made it clear that they wanted a political structure that reflected custom and tradition as well as democracy. The post-independence period demonstrated the practical difficulty of reconciling the two. The author examined the co-existence of the two systems of governance. He concludes that, while there has been signficant  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Asofou Soʻo
ISBN: 9789820203907 9820203902
OCLC Number: 244005120
Description: xviii, 238 pages : maps ; 21 cm
Contents: Introduction --
1. Indigenous institutions --
2. Foreign influence 1830-1962 --
3. Keeping the old in the new: the 1962 constitution --
4. From consensus politics to party politics --
5. The development of political parties --
6. Campaign strategies --
7. Competition and participation in Samoa's political system --
8. The impact of 'constitutionalized' rights --
9. The current status.
Other Titles: Democracy & custom in Sāmoa
Responsibility: Asofou Soʻo.

Abstract:

Samoa became an independent state on 1 January 1962. In moving toward independence, Samoans made it clear that they wanted a political structure that reflected custom and tradition as well as democracy. The post-independence period demonstrated the practical difficulty of reconciling the two. The author examined the co-existence of the two systems of governance. He concludes that, while there has been signficant progress towards democracy (with positive and negative impacts for indigenous institutions, values and practices), it has been restricted by the persistence of customary ideals. The mixing of tradition and democracy is seen as a phase in the process of continuous social and political change, in which practices and values that no longer fit current circumstances are discarded for more relevant and appropriate ones.

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