This article was downloaded by: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia]On: 18 February 2011Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 930568065]Publisher RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: Roderic Alleya; Angela Wanhallab; Kim Lanegranc; Kikue Hamayotsud; Subrata Mitrae; FrankBongiornof; Paerau Warbrickb; Andrekos Varnavaga Victoria University of Wellington, b University of Otago, c Coe College, d Northern Illinois University, e Heidelberg University, f King's College London, g Flinders University of South Australia, Online publication date: 18 February 2011 To cite this Article Alley, Roderic , Wanhalla, Angela , Lanegran, Kim , Hamayotsu, Kikue , Mitra, Subrata , Bongiorno, Frank , Warbrick, Paerau and Varnava, Andrekos(2011) 'BOOK REVIEWS', Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 49: 1, 136 — 151To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/14662043.2010.522039URL: This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial orsystematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply ordistribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.
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Commonwealth & Comparative PoliticsVol. 49, No. 1, February 2011, 136 – 151 Pacific Ways. Government and politics in the Pacific Islands, edited byStephen Levine, Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2009, 302 pp., £17.58(paperback), ISBN 9780864736178 At times it is instructive to look neither at the wood nor the trees, but at theleaves. Variously described as fragments of empire or the colonial fringe, thePacific Islands persist for many in the Northern Hemisphere as ethnographiccuriosities that remain indelibly remote, insular and marginal. Historicallysuch attitudes have cost the region dear, be that through nuclear weaponstesting (Britain, France, the United States) or the legacies of indifferentlyconcluded, haphazard decolonisation.
This collection comprises 25 country studies (not all of which are in the Commonwealth), ranging all the way from Pitcairn with its 46 inhabitants toAustralia now approaching 22 million. The broad aim of portraying the essen-tial constitutional, legislative, executive and judicial functions operative in eachjurisdiction is largely fulfilled. Space limitations preclude fuller accounts, butsuch brevity has its costs. Jennifer Corrin’s chapter on the Solomon Islands,for example, does not explain the scale of the societal crisis and breakdownin governance that led to the briefly described regional assistance missiondesigned to restore essential public services, civil order and the rule of law.
Elsewhere, Gelu’s chapter on Papua New Guinea is informed, but does noteffectively probe chronic failures of governance, widespread corruption andfailure to meet essential public needs.
Of note are three themes that, to a differing extent, pervade this collection.
A first is the tenacity of the colonial constitutional imprint. In some instancesthis has entailed neglect. For example, American Samoan Congressman EniFaleomavaega’s contribution strongly favours a convention reviewing original1900 and 1904 Deeds of Cessions still determining his country’s ‘unincorpo- Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 rated’ status with the United States. For him, these dating arrangements lackeffective protection of communal lands and culture.
Far to the north, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is ‘independent’ but tied to the United States through a relationship of ‘free association’.
For contributor Glenn Petersen, however, the FSM’s political and economic ISSN 1466-2043 print/ISSN 1743-9094 onlineDOI: 10.1080/14662043.2010.522039http://www.informaworld.com dependency upon Washington remains undiminished. Currently the US‘maintains tight control’ over the FSM by funding an ‘overwhelming largeproportion of the country’s income’ (p. 50). Its hybrid parliamentary andpresidential system has failed in its intended purpose of providing effectivechecks and balances, this being better provided, it is claimed, by traditionalMicronesian cultural forms.
In other instances, effective decolonisation went unfinished – Fiji, for example, where Robert Norton sees an ‘intractable dilemma’ stemming fromBritish rule that could not reconcile demands for indigenous paramountcywithin a multi-ethnic society and where economic power largely resides innon-indigenous hands. In still others, endemic domestic political instability –as in French Polynesia – has followed cavalier revocation of local autonomyto better facilitate nuclear testing, and enhance an unhealthily subsidised localcentralisation to the disadvantage of this extensive archipelago.
A second theme is the extent to which local elites have utilised governance systems to maximise private and personal agendas of advantage. Publicaccountability does not feature strongly in most settings. Where it has beenattempted, as indicated in Paterson’s chapter on Vanuatu describing Ombuds-man or attempted land tribunal functions, then its erosion has been deliberate.
Quanchi’s chapter on the sad decay of Nauru’s governance systems, documentsdeclining national assets, squandered public expenditure and defective scrutinyand accountability. He is cautiously optimistic about attempted post-2004reforms led by younger public figures.
Third, is the relative absence of the durable linkages needed to link popular consent to representative governance. Political parties have neither taken rootnor assumed effective programmatic functions. This vacuum has exacted atoll that will mount failing constitutional and institutional reforms betterdesigned to accommodate local norms, cultures and customs.
Some criticisms can be made: the book lacks but deserves an index; it also requires introductory tabular material providing comparative data ondemography, economic capacity, human development indicators, or Transpar-ency International corruption scorings. Better regional maps exist than thoseutilised. Such concerns aside, this title will serve as a useful introduction forthose unfamiliar with the politics and government of the Pacific’s far-flunglocations.
Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 Maori and the state: Crown – Maori relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa,1950 – 2000, by Richard S. Hill, Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2009,ix + 364 pp., $31.95 (paperback), ISBN 9780864736116 Maori and the state, continues the story of the relationship between Maori andthe Crown explored by Richard Hill in State authority, indigenous autonomy,also published by Victoria University Press. In the first book, Hill took as hisfocus the first 50 years of the twentieth century. He successfully demonstratedthe many ways in which Maori sought ‘rangatiratanga’ or autonomy and howthe Crown responded to their varied strategies. The Maori search for autonomywas not discarded in the nineteenth century, and in fact, the Treaty of Waitangiand the concepts of autonomy and sovereignty that it was understood toembody continued to resonate among Maori until 1950. In Maori and thestate Richard Hill explores how this search for autonomy played out in thefinal half of the twentieth century.
Hill’s research is impeccable and his analysis tightly constructed and argued. This is particularly impressive given that during the 50 years understudy, significant changes in policy were instituted in response to pressurefrom Maori organisations. Maori and the state highlights these politicalshifts, but it does offer more than a political history. The book is intended asa political history of race relations policy, charting the changing landscape ofMaori affairs in the post World War II era. The book also contains much ofvalue to the social historian. Insights into social and cultural shifts in NewZealand society are demonstrated, because for Maori, state policy during thisperiod was intimately tied to debates about welfare, education, justice, citizen-ship and identity politics.
Maori men had fought for the British Empire and New Zealand during World War II, and Maori women were ‘manpowered’. On the home front,the war gave Maori women new opportunities and witnessed a significantwatershed in Maori women’s social, familial and economic experiences. Warservice was, argued a number of significant Maori leaders and politicians,ample proof of Maori loyalty, and therefore, full rights of citizenship oughtto be their reward. Maori achieved, however, only partial equality under thelaw. Maori interaction with the state revolved around claims for equality of citi-zenship at a time when New Zealand’s borders were slowly opening up to new Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 migrant groups from Europe as well as from the rural world as Maori urbanmigration increased from the 1960s. New communities were formed withinsuburbs and workplaces during the post-war economic boom and Maori tooka leading role in forging new identities within urban New Zealand. Maoriengagement with the state, particularly with the Department of MaoriAffairs, has dominated interpretations of the immediate post-war years, butcrucial social, cultural and economic developments led by Maori organisations – the Maori War Effort Organisation, the Maori Women’s Welfare League andthe Maori Council for instance – were taking place alongside governmentactivities. Maori involvement in the practices and functions of the state, inhelping to formulate policy, as well as implementing it within communities,deserves as much attention as the efforts by Maori organisations to dismantlewhat was known as ‘integration’ policy. Maori and state indicates that Maoriwere part of the state, but does not fully explore the implications of thatrelationship. Interrogating the post-war period from the ‘inside’ as well asthe ‘outside’ will lead to unsettlement of the country’s historiography.
The book offers a broad sweep of political and policy shifts over 50 years. In concentrating on the interconnections and relationship between the State andMaori, there is a danger in asserting a narrative of progress towards understand-ing, nationhood and relative harmony. The last half of the twentieth century wasfraught with tension, as major economic, social and cultural changes took place.
For some, a way of life and its values were being attacked and undermined,when, in fact, new voices, movements and strategies had emerged to challengewhat had become very comfortable and smug views about race relations inNew Zealand. As protest groups emerged in the 1970s, cherished nationalideals about ‘racial harmony’ and the ‘best race relations in the world’ werethreatened and in the end set aside. Views of racial harmony sat awkwardlyalongside the emergence of political protests, which encompassed the VietnamWar, environmental degradation and race relations policy. This set the stagefor the significant political and social shifts amongst New Zealand society inthe 1970s and beyond, including the formation of the Waitangi Tribunal, acourt set up in 1975 and given the power to hear grievances stemming from 1840.
For those unfamiliar with New Zealand’s post-war history, Maori and state is a valuable introduction to that period, showcasing state policy and practice,as well as a dynamic and intellectual Maori movement for autonomy in all itsvariety.
Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 Peace versus justice? The dilemma of transitional justice in Africa, editedby Chandra Lekha Sriram and Suren Pillay, Suffolk, James Curry, 2010, ix +373 pp., £19.99 (paperback), ISBN 9781847010216 This edited volume offers a general survey of a wide spectrum of mechanismsof transitional justice recently at work on the African continent. Its titlenotwithstanding, the book does not focus narrowly on the supposed ‘peace versus justice dilemma’ in transitional justice. Rather, the authors broadly‘review and analyse the experiences and lessons learnt’ (p. 4) from cases exam-ined. Authors consider international and domestic judicial efforts to prosecuteperpetrators of human rights crimes (the International Criminal Court, the Inter-national Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone andRwanda’s gacaca courts) as well as structures that combine forgiveness withtruth-telling about violations (commissions in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africaand Sierra Leone) and even the exceptional case of Mozambique, in which apolicy of official amnesia concerning atrocities coexists with traditional recon-ciliatory practices. This book emerged from a 2007 workshop at the Centre forConflict Resolution at the University of Cape Town.
The first set of chapters raise theoretical issues concerning transitional justice. Yasmin Louise Sooka surveys a range of countries’ experiences withamnesties. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu takes on the ‘peace versus justice’debate by identifying strengths and weaknesses of both truth commissionsand tribunals; he concludes that prosecuting violators should be the rule andpardoning them the exception. Charles Villa-Vicencio calls for ‘national con-versations’ to continue processes of accountability and peacebuilding. SheilaMeintjes argues that structures must probe gender dynamics if an adequateunderstanding of past abuses is to result. Mireille Affa’a Mindzie optimisticallysays the African Union has built ‘a significant system that can be adequatelyused to monitor and assess transitional processes’ (p. 127) on the continent.
However, she is forced to question whether that system will actually be utilised.
The five chapters on truth and reconciliation processes are largely descrip- tive and offer summary discussions of the creation, work, achievements andshortcomings of cases. However, the chapters on Nigeria’s Human Rights Vio-lations Investigation Commission, by former commissioner Matthew Kukah,and The National Reconciliation Commission of Ghana, by its executive sec-retary Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, are noteworthy due to the unique insightsoffered by these insider-analysts and the fact that these are two understudiedcommissions. Alex Boraine identifies differences between South Africa’sTRC and truth commissions in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste and Peru. ThelmaEkiyor reflects on Sierra Leone’s truth commission. John L. Hirsch comparesthe peace processes of Mozambique and Sierra Leone and concludes thatdecisions about granting amnesty and/or prosecuting human rights violators Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 ‘are more successful when generated out of domestically based processesrather than exclusively through the Security Council or other internationalinstruments’ (p. 202).
Other authors examine tribunals. Abdul Tejan-Cole, a former trial attorney for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, identifies many of its shortcomings butconcludes that they ‘are more properly attributed to poor implementation ratherthan to problems with pursuing justice per se’ (p. 242). Abdul Rahman Lamin asserts that the Special Court’s ability to foster peace was hampered by its pro-secution of popular Civil Defence Forces leaders, condemns the court foragreeing to move Charles Taylor’s trial to the Netherlands, and complains ofan ‘overpoliticisation’ of the court. Wambui Mwangi offers a unique look atthe International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda by examining the challengesbrought to and by the few individuals it acquitted. Dumisa Buhle Ntsebezeexamines the work of the ICC in Darfur by highlighting the arguments foropening the ICC’s case made by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Darfur,on which he served. Chandra Lekha Sriram evaluates and rejects the criticismthat the ICC is a tool of neo-colonialism and is using African cases as its‘guinea pigs’.
Two chapters discuss traditional methods of justice. Helen Scanlon and Nompumelelo Motlafi summarise the work of gacaca courts and argumentsconcerning their strengths and shortcomings. Victor Igreja’s chapter onmagamba spirits and healers in Mozambique makes the most unique contri-bution in this entire collection. Based in part on his field work, Igreja describeshow communities use ‘war-related spirits’ to address ‘challenges of achievingboth peace and justice’ (p. 286).
This book is best suited to readers seeking an introduction to transitional justice structures in Africa. Its scope is broad, but its chapters are heavy ongeneral description and light on empirical data and analysis. Unfortunately,because each chapter was written to stand alone, many present the same infor-mation about conflicts, the establishment of tribunals or commissions, and/oreven the same arguments.
Political Islam in Southeast Asia, by Gordon P. Means, Boulder, CO, LynneRienner, 2009, 444 pp., $32.00 (paperback), ISBN 9781588266781 Growing piety and blossoming religious activism in Muslim nations –alongside the War against Terrorism at the onset of the 9/11 – have generated Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 lively debates and new scholarship inquiring into the relations between religionand politics in general and political Islam in particular. The flourishing scholar-ship on political Islam can be categorised roughly into four types: Islamicactivism and civil society; state appropriation of Islam; Islam and violence;and Islam and democracy/electoral politics. Gordon Means’s book is an extre-mely ambitious intellectual venture that takes on a whole spectrum of issues and events that fall under (and beyond) all these categories with special refer-ence to Muslim Southeast Asia. Means adopts a highly eclectic approach anddraws on extensive primary and secondary sources to tackle a wide array oftopics ranging from ethnic violence and separatism (Southern Philippines,Southern Thailand, Aceh, Papua, Timor Leste) to Islam and party politicsand elections (Malaysia, post-Suharto Indonesia), Islamist/Islamic movementsand civil society (Indonesia, Malaysia), radical Islam and terrorism (Indonesia,Malaysia and Singapore) and Islam and democracy (Indonesia) to name just afew.
It is his eclectic approach and meticulous documentation style that do both good as well as harm to the book. A main contribution and strength of the bookis the rich and thorough discussions of political developments of the Muslim-majority region. As he claims, his first-hand area knowledge accumulatedthrough his personal and some decade-long engagement with the region hasbeen valuable in drawing more attention to the diversity and variety ofIslam, rather than the radical and aggressive Islam that has attracted moreinternational attention. It is diverse and plural characteristics of SoutheastAsian Islam that have shaped political landscapes and transformations of theregion. In so arguing, he wishes to rectify misunderstandings about the roleof Islam in politics that so-called terrorism experts have caused in recentyears. Unlike these experts, he attempts to spotlight rich and complex social,economic, cultural, historical and political contexts in which jihadistsemerge, operate and flourish.
Ironically, it is in fact his excessive fascination in, and painstaking docu- mentation of terrorism and radical and violent Islam that stand out in his scru-pulous account which undermine his otherwise noble intellectual enterprise. Itis equally unfortunate that his account and interpretation of terrorism (what hecalls ‘global jihad’) and violent and radical Islam (i.e. separatist movements)heavily rely on intelligence reports and secondary sources produced by the ter-rorist experts. He seems unaware of a number of other experts of SoutheastAsian politics and political Islam who have discredited the terrorism experts’versions of crude interpretation about religious violence. Moreover, Meansmakes the same conceptual errors as these terrorist experts; he almost matter-of-factly uses such essential concepts as ‘Islamism’ and ‘political Islam’ inter-changeably with ‘jihadist’ ‘radical’ and ‘terrorist’. Furthermore, he at times Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 seems confused about civil society organisations (such as Indonesia’s famousNahdlatul Ulama) with political parties, thereby neglecting recent controver-sies about participation of (or lack thereof) these mass religious organisationsin broader political change such as democratic consolidation. As a result, heis only marginally successful in engaging with important debates amongstudents of political Islam about the causes of religious violence or inclusionof Islamism in democracy. By the end of the book readers may well be in the dark about what really matters in understanding various facets of politicalIslam in Southeast Asia and beyond. If everything matters, as the book likes tosuggest, we will keep facing an uphill task to learn what – and how – to knowabout political Islam.
The imaginary institution of India: politics and ideas, Sudipta Kaviraj,New York, Columbia University Press, 2010, 312 pp., £20.50 (paperback),ISBN 9780231152235 Despite the title, there is nothing here that amounts to questioning the ‘reality’of the Indian state. Instead, the essays authenticate the presence of the post-colonial state in terms of its cultural, economic and social power. Together,the eight essays of this compendium cover the entire spectrum of India’smodern institutions and their peculiar ability to conflate endogenous categoriesand imported norms. They draw on the leadership styles of Jawaharlal Nehruand Indira Gandhi; the competition and collaboration that underpin the govern-ment and opposition in India; the interpenetrating structures of the nationalistdiscourse and colonial power; and the genealogies of identity and modernity,firmly anchored in the social and cultural space of the post-colonial state.
The residual – perhaps indissoluble – Marxist lineage that underpins much of Kaviraj’s oeuvre does, nevertheless, insinuate the existence of a hiatusbetween the actual institutions and the underlying reality of primordial identi-ties in post-colonial modernity, and the resultant uncertainty that underpins itsoutwardly solid structure. Chapter five is perhaps the best exemplar of Kaviraj’sanxiety about the permanence of the ‘Nehruvian modernity’ – so-calledbecause of its identification with Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Ministerof India. The commitment to democracy, liberalism, human rights and secular-ism which Nehru saw as essential to the exercise of power, Kaviraj argues, isnow at risk. It is, paradoxically, a result of the second transfer of power,from the Nehruvian elites to the Indian masses.
Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 Where does this sense of uncertainty about the permanence of the modern political structure in its post-colonial context spring from? The concludingremarks in chapter five are, perhaps the best window to Kaviraj’s method.
This and the introductory chapter (much too terse, and in urgent need ofelaboration in the subsequent volumes) help formulate an answer to thisfundamental question.
The concept of false consciousness never directly appears as part of Kaviraj’s repertoire. Instead, drawing on the concept of ‘colligation’, Kavirajshows how the present is connected to the past in terms of a narrative chainof distinctive events. However, the reasoning is anchored in events that arethemselves similarly connected to other events, until they fade off into theformless. As such ‘no colligating performance can be complete’ (p. 207). ‘Itis not only the choice of a and b but of a whole lot of other candidates thatis political. The space lying suggestively between a and b and c, teemingwith objects not selected for mention, is also intensely political; and theseempty spaces of unmentioned incidents is worrisomely like fiction.’ Kaviraj’sfinal argument that follows is the clincher. ‘The interstices of every narrative arefilled with semblances rather than truth. Thus, the telling of true stories inhistory would not rule out the telling of other stories different from the firstwhich are also true’ (p. 207).
Kaviraj’s assertion that the social sciences sit uncertainly between fact and fiction, is no new revelation. However, where he takes the epistemology of thepost-colonial condition a step further is when he jolts our consciousness. We areled briskly away from such comfortable and highly plausible generalities suchas the unproblematic, one-size-fits-all modernity, ‘seamless web of tradition’,or for that matter, the ‘modernity’ of tradition that dominate the field of the aca-demic study of Indian politics.
The collection of essays, written over a long period, responding to different contexts and conversations, might give the impression of an intellectual maze.
Promising trails entice the unwary into the cul-de-sac of aporias, like the searchfor a genealogy of the present. That this brilliant pastiche does not degenerateinto mere intellectual conceit is a tribute to the incorrigible curiosity of itsauthor, and his sincere and respectful engagement with reality. Perhaps somerevision of the older essays in light of new research on why institutions some-times work, might have made the volume more relevant, and added it to thegenre of re-use scholarship, that looks for a way to draw on the past to makethe present more relevant, authentic, resilient and permanent.
In brief, Kaviraj entices the reader but does not equip the novice with a research design or even any warning signals. Still, redolent of the conversa-tional style of a Bengali adda – all-encompassing gossip – the Imaginary Insti-tution of India connects Bengal Renaissance with its European predecessor.
Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 These enchanting essays and the two more volumes of essays that have beenannounced, will be rich fare for those who find their intellectual thrill in theflow of ideas.
The Queen’s other realms: the Crown and its legacy in Australia, Canadaand New Zealand, by Peter Boyce, Annandale and Leichhardt, New SouthWales, The Federation Press, 2008, ix + 290 pp., $AUD 59.95 (hardback),ISBN 9781862877009 Peter Boyce’s judicious study of the Crown in Canada, Australia and NewZealand traces some common patterns of historical development in thesethree derivative monarchies, as well as differences resulting from divergentconstitutional arrangements, legislative structures, electoral systems and his-torical experiences. Although there has been much distinguished work on theBritish monarchy in recent years, the comparative scope of this study and itsfocus on the ‘old’ Commonwealth are both unique.
Boyce suggests that Walter Bagehot’s notion of a monarch’s three rights – to encourage, to warn and to be consulted by the prime minister – hasexercised considerable influence as a model in all three countries. But heis also attentive to local distinctiveness, historical change and contingenciesof personality and politics. The Queen’s other realms shows that the verynature of derivative monarchy imposes particular conditions on the vice-regal office. No lieutenant-governor, governor or governor-general –however able or favoured by circumstance – can fully overcome the disad-vantage of limited tenure compared with hereditary monarchy. Whateverdignity or influence he or she exercises will need to come from somethingother than mere longevity. Perhaps something of the magic of monarchyis transportable to vice-regal office, if less so today, when appointees arelocal men and women, and pomp and ceremony taken less seriously thanin the empire’s heyday, when upper-class Britons and even occasionallyroyals assumed the office.
The book opens with a series of three thematic chapters that are directly comparative, on the circumstances of the British monarchy’s survival inthese three countries as they have emerged from empire into independence;the sense of a familial relationship between the monarchies of Britain,Canada, Australia and New Zealand based on shared historical experience,continuing connections and similarities of political institution and culture; Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 and the factors affecting vice-regal power and influence. Later the bookfocuses specifically on the Crown in the Canadian Provinces and the AustralianStates, and the office of governor-general in the three countries. The final chap-ters explore vice-regal success and failure, republicanism and somepossibilities for reform.
Boyce is an Australian political scientist and some of the issues discussed in this study have been especially fraught in his own country, not only becausetwo governments have been dismissed by the sovereign’s local representative(1932 and 1975) but because several occupants of vice-regal office in boththe State and federal spheres have been forced to resign on grounds of misbe-haviour (Boyce gives an especially rollicking account of former diplomatRichard Butler’s brief and inglorious tenure as Tasmanian Governor). ButBoyce also shows that there has been considerable anguish about the officein Canada, where after the appointment of the first two Canadian occupantsof the office in the 1950s and 1960s – the respected Vincent Massey andGeorges Vanier – appointees’ quality and public standing declined markedly.
And especially in the Provinces, whose lieutenant-governors were selectedby the central government under the Canadian constitution, Ottawa frequentlyexercised its powers of patronage in using vacancies to reward political friends.
In New Zealand, there has been less controversy, although the introduction of anew electoral system in the 1990s virtually guaranteed minority governmentand thereby increased the likelihood of a governor-general becoming entangledin tricky negotiations.
The book is not without its weaknesses. Boyce does not discuss the atti- tudes of First Nation people in either Australia or Canada. His story, more-over, is largely one of successful adaptation. But he presents sufficientevidence to support a less optimistic conclusion, certainly in the Australianand perhaps, too, in the Canadian case, where the office has been subjectto cronyism, manipulation, conflict and controversy. He makes much of‘the growing acceptance of a distinction between the Crown as a consti-tutional framework and the monarch as the Crown’s personal embodiment’(p. 243). But in Australia, the Britishness of both Queen and Crown islargely taken for granted, at least among the majority who don’t muchbother with the kinds of fine distinctions that preoccupy constitutionallawyers and political scientists. It may be doubted whether very many Austra-lians, to the extent that they think about then governor-general at all, see heras representing an Australian ‘Crown’. The Crown-monarch distinction worksbetter in Canada and New Zealand, where republican impulses have accord-ingly been weaker.
The monarchy still matters for many reasons. The royal prerogative, after Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 all, is the ultimate basis for executive power in parliamentary democracies.
Any reform of vice-regal office and any transition to a republic thereforehave potentially large ramifications for governance. Moreover, governors dosometimes need to become involved in the political process on their owninitiative, even if there is still much disagreement about issues such as thecodification of reserve powers. Finally, as Boyce argues persuasively, politicalcommunities need symbolism and dignified ceremony that express their sense of unity and purpose. An off-shore constitutional monarchy, he suggests,has not only been successful in the past in performing these very necessaryfunctions. With appropriate reform, it might still have more to offer somekinds of modern democratic state.
Raupatu: the confiscation of Maori land, edited by Richard Boast andRichard S. Hill, Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2009, ix + 299 pp.,£26.95 (paperback), ISBN 9780864736123 This book is a product of a conference in Wellington, New Zealand 2008 onnineteenth-century Maori land confiscation (raupatu) in the 1860s. Non-NewZealanders will therefore need to use a Maori dictionary (there are some onthe web) to translate some of the Maori terms contained in a number of theessays.
The 1860s in New Zealand is one of the dark periods in New Zealand race relations between Maori and the British settlers. The New Zealand coloniallegislature passed the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 which enabled theconfiscation of whole regions of Maori land on the pretext of rebellionagainst the Crown. Maori from the central districts of the North Island werethe most affected. The consequences of this lesson in raw power are still feltin New Zealand to the present day. Confiscation is still a dirty little secretlurking in the background of New Zealand history. This book, therefore, pro-vides much needed literature on the topic. It will serve as the standard referenceon confiscation for years to come.
The book is arranged into 12 chapters split up into six different parts: Intro- duction (Richard Boast & Richard Hill, Bryan Gilling); International Context(James Belich, John C. Weaver); Confiscation in Colonial New Zealand (AlanWard, Michael Allen); Raupatu and Law (Richard Boast, Mark Hickford);Case Studies (Vincent O’Malley, Judith Binney); and Legacies (Dion Tuuta,Alex Frame). Researchers should pay particular attention to footnote 4 on Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 page 4 which gives further references on confiscation. It cites reports that aredifficult to come by. Those reports form part of the research used by theWaitangi Tribunal, a deliberative legal body that advises the New Zealandgovernment on historical and contemporary Maori claims against the Crown.
The form of the book is like those reports used by the Waitangi Tribunal.
Most of the essays are positivist in nature which is common in most legal his-tories. There are constant references to legislation, case law, archival materials and correspondence between politicians and those persons in power. This is notsurprising as most of the contributors have been involved in claims before theWaitangi Tribunal as legal counsel or contract historians. So these essays have a‘matter-of-fact’ presentation in their narratives.
While all the essays are standard scholarly works, there are three chapters which require some comment. The first is Weaver’s contribution. He uses aphrase ‘a true History lesson’ to contextualise the confiscations in an inter-national setting. I am still unsure exactly what he means by this. Perhaps itmeans that if we are to look at the whole facts and perceptions, that there arelessons to be learnt. Dion Tuuta’s essay tried to cover large tracts of time forthe Taranaki region. As a result, there is a lot of generality in his writing.
However, it is his postscript which held the real gems. It recounts the experi-ence that Maori have with dealing with the consequences of confiscation. Ifhis postscript was expanded, it would have been a powerful statement of thereal problems faced by Maori in Taranaki even to this day.
Judith Binney’s chapter stands out from all the others. It is the only one that attempts to get into the mind of a particular group of Maori people (Tuhoe)in the Bay of Plenty and their encounters with confiscation. Her writing isdifferent from the others because of her sources. She uses oral sources aswell as other artistic mechanisms like songs and maxims to try to capture themeaning of confiscation for the Tuhoe people. As a result, Binney illustratestheir perspective quite clearly: the Crown stole their land.
There is only one weakness in this collection of essays. None of the chap- ters addresses the role of racism and prejudice in the confiscation. Confiscationwas directed squarely at Maori; not anybody else. Perhaps this is somethingthat one of the authors may pick up in the future.
Cyprus: a modern history, by William Mallinson, London, I.B. Tauris, 2009(first published 2005), 264 pp., £14.99 (paperback), ISBN 9781845118679 Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 William Mallinson’s Cyprus: a modern history is a disappointment: it lacksoriginality, regurgitates received wisdoms, is wanting in archival research,and is extraordinarily biased in favour of the positions of one side overanother, and in blaming international and regional actors for a complex conflictfor which multiple actors must be held responsible. He claims his book is ‘amodern history’ of Cyprus, but it is an attempt at a history of the Cyprus‘problem’ from 1950 to 2004, implying that what transpires before 1950 is unimportant to modern Cypriot history and to understanding the Cyprusproblem. The focus on the Cyprus problem neglects to understand Cyprus’modern political, social and cultural development, which is very muchrooted in the late Ottoman and early British period. Moreover, it neglects allthe other diplomatic issues and relations during the period. So the book’stitle does not fit with the actual focus.
Mallinson fails to deal with the two fundamental issues relating to Cyprus before 1950: the British strategic interest and the rise of ethnic nationalism. Heclaims that Cyprus’ strategic importance was established upon the British occu-pation in 1878. In reality this importance was misplaced by those British Con-servative politicians who sought its occupation, and the island became abackwater of the British Empire, and eventually a pawn, reflected in effortsto cede Cyprus to Greece after 1912. After the British offered Cyprus toGreece in October 1915, imperialists urged military advisers to reconsiderCyprus’ place within the British imperial structure and they advised thatCyprus was too strategically valuable to be ceded to Greece. Nevertheless,Cyprus was never established as a strategic asset (in 1937 a naval base wasrejected because the costs were estimated at a massive 24.5 million pounds)until it was decided to move the British Middle East Headquarters to Cyprusfrom Egypt in 1952. Mallinson, like many commentators influenced byethnic nationalism, approaches Cyprus’ history from the Greek nationalist para-digm and continues to give credence to a speech supposedly given in 1878 byan Eastern Orthodox Cypriot prelate to Sir Garnet Wolseley, Cyprus’ first highcommissioner, demanding enosis (union with Greece). This speech is usedbecause it forms the basis of their argument that the Greek Cypriots wereHellenised when the British arrived in 1878. But Rolandos Katsiaounisclaimed over a decade ago that such a speech was never made, and since hisstudy it has been comprehensively proven that it was never said, and indeedthat few Christians identified with Greece beyond a handful of Hellenisedlocals and Greek nationals.
Along with the rather routine portrayal of Cypriot history until the 1950s, Mallinson presents a biased version of the Cyprus Problem – essentially theofficial Greek Cypriot position. He blames the existence of the ‘CyprusProblem’ on the interests of foreign powers, thus subscribing to the populistAnglo-American conspiracy theory of the Cyprus Problem, and on the machi- Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 nations of a predatory Turkey. For Mallinson the Cypriots exerted no influenceover their homeland’s destiny. Yet, quite clearly, it was Greek nationalistCypriots, mainly from the right-wing elites, that established, with aid fromcircles in the Greek army, the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters(EOKA) in the 1950s, which attacked the British not in an ‘anti-Colonial’struggle, since the aim was not for the independence of Cyprus for all Cypriots,Greek, Turkish, Maronite, Armenian, Latin, but the union of the island to Greece (enosis). It was Turkish Cypriots and Turkey who reacted with violencein order to stop this and to try to bring about partition, no doubt under Britishencouragement, when they established the Turkish Defence Force (TMT).
After independence, it was Greek Cypriot elites, from the right and nationalistleft, which formed paramilitary groups in the wake of EOKA’s splintering, initi-ating the December 1963 clashes with Turkish Cypriots and TMT, while theTurkish Cypriot elites waited in order to withdraw from the government andestablish a geographic separation of the two communities. During the inter-communal discussions from 1967 – 1974, it was Archbishop Makarios, thefirst president of the republic, who rejected the agreement reached by hischief negotiator, Glafkos Clerides. In 1974, it was right-wing extremistGreek Cypriots, with support from the Greek military junta, that overthrewMakarios and left Turkey with little alternative but to land troops. Thisargument, however, is incomplete without understanding the interests andinvolvement of the various other powers, the UK, USA, Greece, Turkey andalso the USSR. There must be a balance of responsibility, rather than a focuson one aspect of the story.
It is not surprising that Mallinson subscribes to the ‘justice for Greek Cypriots’ discourse after the Turkish invasion, ignoring any injustices doneto Turkish Cypriots. He continues the conspiracy theory line, blaming the inter-national community for the failure of the latest effort to solve the crisis, callingthe UN Plan ‘the United Kingdom Nations Plan’, thus implying it was a UKconspiracy. The Plan was actually based on negotiations between PresidentClerides, Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, the UN Envoy toCyprus, Alvaro de Soto and Lord Hannay, the British special representative,and has a strong connection to previous proposals. Mallinson fails to realisethat, regardless of their motives, the international community genuinely triedto reunify Cyprus and was obstructed first by Denktash and Turkey and thenby Clerides’ replacement, Tassos Papadopoulos. In a representative exampleof his poor scholarship, Mallinson claims that when the players met atBurgenstock prior to the 24 April 2004 referendum, Papadopoulos submittedamendments to the UN plan which were rejected, while the new TurkishCypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, made 11 amendments that were accepted,but his source is only Athens News. He ignored the two former presidents ofthe Republic of Cyprus, George Vassiliou and Clerides, both members of the Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011 Greek Cypriot delegation, who revealed that Papadopoulos refused topropose changes when they urged him to and they made six proposed amend-ments and five of them were accepted. Then Papadopoulos submitted a 200-page document with amendments at the very last moment, which the UNbelieved was vague and too late. Predictably, Mallinson supports Papadopou-los’ ‘no’ and criticises any party or person for supporting the referendum.
Nothing is mentioned of the abuses committed against supporters of Cyprus’ reunification, who criticised Papadopoulos’s stance of not negotiating withTalat at Burgenstock. Mallinson analysed favourable newspapers and inter-views and not the documentary evidence available, namely the eyewitnessaccounts, letters between Papadopoulos and the UN, reports of the SelectCommittee of Foreign Affairs in Britain and the report of Amnesty Inter-national (September 2004) on the abuses of the Papadopoulos regime against‘yes’ campaigners.
Mallinson fails to present a balanced and complete understanding of the Cyprus problem. He sees the Cyprus conflict from Greek and Greek Cypriotnationalist lenses, failing to produce an objective account driven by archivalevidence. For this reason I cannot recommend it.
Downloaded By: [VARNAVA, ANDREKOS][Flinders University of South Australia] At: 06:38 18 February 2011

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