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Discussion paper

New pathways across old terrain? SSGM research on resources, conflict and justice

Conflict management Natural resources Peace-building Melanesia

Melanesia is characterised by complex interactions among land and natural resource uses, legal and political institutions, and interest groups. These interactions play out at the national level, where institutions have been profoundly shaped by an interplay of ‘local’ and ‘global’ orders and by the political and economic systems which affect natural resource exploitation. Institutional dynamics at local, national and regional levels have animated both violent conflict and its peaceful resolution, and are central to understanding the changing political economy and broader processes of state formation that are occurring in Melanesia. Drawing on 20 years of State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) research, this paper examines the complex interrelationships affecting land and natural resource exploitation, peace and conflict, and justice.

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