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Beyond Governance in Samoa: Understanding Samoan Political Thought

Beyond Governance in Samoa: Understanding Samoan Political Thought <p> In the Samoan polity today, the indigenous institution of the matai (chiefs) continues to play a pivotal role in governance. In determining leadership, the fa&apos;as&#x00101;moa (Samoan way) and the fa&apos;amatai (way of the chiefs) are the most influential factors. Yet this has not prevented S&#x00101;moa from experiencing governance problems found in other countries of the region, although perhaps on a lesser scale: misunderstanding, frustration, alienation, migration, discrimination, malpractice, patronage, and violence. Reasons for this may be (1) a lack of correspondence between fa&apos;as&#x00101;moa and liberal democracy; (2) a lack of general understanding and critical assessment of the principles of liberal democracy in S&#x00101;moa; (3) a combination of misuse, abuse, or misunderstanding of fa&apos;as&#x00101;moa; and (4) a lack of publicity and critical assessment of the principles of fa&apos;as&#x00101;moa. This paper examines aspects of these four characteristics of the Samoan polity and looks at ways of reassessing governance. It draws on literature that deals with some of the main features of Samoan political thought, as well as on discussions with Samoan scholars and thinkers. This introduction to a different approach to Samoan governance also briefly reviews some of the political forces and tensions at play in S&#x00101;moa to show how they impact current political conceptualization.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

Beyond Governance in Samoa: Understanding Samoan Political Thought

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 17 (2) – Jul 29, 2005

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464

Abstract

<p> In the Samoan polity today, the indigenous institution of the matai (chiefs) continues to play a pivotal role in governance. In determining leadership, the fa&apos;as&#x00101;moa (Samoan way) and the fa&apos;amatai (way of the chiefs) are the most influential factors. Yet this has not prevented S&#x00101;moa from experiencing governance problems found in other countries of the region, although perhaps on a lesser scale: misunderstanding, frustration, alienation, migration, discrimination, malpractice, patronage, and violence. Reasons for this may be (1) a lack of correspondence between fa&apos;as&#x00101;moa and liberal democracy; (2) a lack of general understanding and critical assessment of the principles of liberal democracy in S&#x00101;moa; (3) a combination of misuse, abuse, or misunderstanding of fa&apos;as&#x00101;moa; and (4) a lack of publicity and critical assessment of the principles of fa&apos;as&#x00101;moa. This paper examines aspects of these four characteristics of the Samoan polity and looks at ways of reassessing governance. It draws on literature that deals with some of the main features of Samoan political thought, as well as on discussions with Samoan scholars and thinkers. This introduction to a different approach to Samoan governance also briefly reviews some of the political forces and tensions at play in S&#x00101;moa to show how they impact current political conceptualization.</p>

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 29, 2005

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