Fiji is undergoing a period of political and economic change. At this stage, the jury is out on the course being charted by the FijiFirst government as it grapples with the dual challenges of political reform and economic development. With the 2018 general election on the horizon, the following article considers where Fiji is placed on the authoritarian‐democratic spectrum. By drawing on the comparative literature about transition “from above” and competitive authoritarianism, we focus on the character of reform in Fiji since the re‐institution of elections in 2014. Our contention is that the shift that skews the system in favour of an incumbent government often occurs between elections in a less than noticeable manner. The article argues that while there is an appearance of progress in Fiji, overall the situation is less democratic and more precarious than it seems.
Australian Journal of Politics and History – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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