Statecraftiness: Mapping Competition, Cooperation, and Coercion in the Pacific Islands
Introduction to the project
As a growing number of partner states pursue their ambitions in the ‘crowded and complex’ geopolitics of the Pacific Islands region, Australia is concerned about how its interests may be affected by partner states using tools of statecraft to influence, or even coerce, Pacific Island countries and/or other actors in the region.
But what is ‘statecraft’? What tools of statecraft are states deploying in the region? And how useful are they?
With this gap in knowledge in mind, our project is:
- Examining what statecraft tools partners are deploying in the Pacific Islands.
- Mapping which partners are deploying what tools and where they are targeted.
- Considering what – if anything – particular statecraft tools achieve.
- Analysing what consequences – if any – our findings may have for Pacific Island countries and peoples.
Compiled by Joanne Wallis and Michael Rose, the interactive Statecraftiness StoryMap collates data on the major tools of statecraft being deployed by partner states in the Pacific Islands region, and maps where these tools are being deployed.
The StoryMap is a living document that is being developed in 2023 and 2024. The current iteration of the StoryMap is now available.
Hosted by Dr Gordon Peake, this podcast takes listeners on a quest to understand what ‘influence’ means and how states are using their tools of statecraft to seek to achieve it in the Pacific Islands region and Timor-Leste.
The podcast highlights the role that individuals play in implementing Australian statecraft and in determining its success. Our initial findings are outlined in this op-ed for The Conversation.
Statecraftiness: weaving webs of statecraft in the Pacific Islands
In our first policy paper, Statecraftiness: weaving webs of statecraft in the Pacific Islands, Joanne Wallis, Henrietta McNeill, Alan Tidwell, and Czes Tubilewicz present the component parts of the webs of statecraft that partner states are weaving in the Pacific Islands region. The findings are summarised in this op-ed on the Lowy Interpreter.
Pacific Islands weaving statecraft
In our third policy paper, Lalaga, tithiki, talia vata: Pacific Islands weaving statecraft, Derek Futaiasi, Priestley Habru, Maima Koro, William Waqavakatoga, and Henrietta McNeill, analyse Pacific Island countries' activities to try to influence their partners and one another through statecraft. The findings are summarised on this op-ed on the AIIA Australian Outlook.
Scholarships as a tool of statecraft
Scholarships are often seen as an important soft power tool of statecraft. But does giving a Pacific student a scholarship improve that person's perception of Australia? In this policy paper Priestley Habru, Wilhelmina Utukana, Feagaimaalii Soti Mapu, Jim Tawa Biliki, an Epo Mark discuss their experience of their scholarships and studies in Australia, how holding an Australian scholarship has shaped their opinion of Australia, and what they plan to go on and do after their studies. The findings are summarised in this op-ed on the AIIA Australian Outlook.
Australia’s defence diplomacy in the Pacific Islands
In our fourth policy paper, Statecraftiness: Australia’s defence diplomacy in the Pacific Islands, Joanne Wallis, Quentin Hanich (University of Wollongong), and Michael Rose analyse the effectiveness of Australia’s defence diplomacy as a tool of statecraft in the Pacific Islands.
The need for proactive rather than reactive statecraft in the Pacific Islands
In our fifth policy paper, The need for proactive rather than reactive statecraft in the Pacific Islands, Joanne Wallis, Henrietta McNeill, Michael Rose, and Alan Tidwell draw on the data collected for our Statecraftiness StoryMap to analyse what statecraft tools Australia and other partner states are deploying in the Pacific Islands region. They make several recommendations for Australia and other partner states about how they should analyse and undertake statecraft in the region. The findings are summarised in this op-ed on The Conversation.
Other project outputs
How are global powers engaging with the Pacific? And who is most effective? These 5 maps provide a glimpse
Joanne Wallis, Henrietta McNeill, Michael Rose, and Alan Tidwell
The Conversation, 6 November 2023
Why did South Korea invite Pacific leaders to a summit, and why did they go?
Joanne Wallis and Jiye Kim
The Strategist, 31 May 2023
Modi in Papua New Guinea: leader of the global south or Quad partner?
Joanne Wallis and Premesha Saha
The Strategist, 24 May 2023
Penny Wong said this week national power comes from ‘our people’. Are we ignoring our most vital resource?
Joanne Wallis and Gordon Peake
The Conversation, 18 April 2023
Relationships are the Enduring Currency of Influence for the Pacific Islands
Derek Futaiasi, Priestley Habru, Maima Koro, William Waqavakatoga, and Henrietta McNeill
Australian Outlook, 14 April 2023
Scholarships as a Tool of Statecraft
Priestley Habru and Joanne Wallis
Australian Outlook, 4 April 2023
Weaving webs of statecraft in the Pacific Islands
Joanne Wallis, Henrietta McNeill, Alan Tidwell, and Czes Tubilewicz
The Interpreter, 19 January 2023
Australia must listen to Pacific countries on defence issues
Gordon Peake and Joanne Wallis
The Canberra Times, 23 July 2022
The project team
- Professor Joanne Wallis – University of Adelaide
- Dr Michael Rose – University of Adelaide
- Professor Alan Tidwell – Georgetown University
- Dr Gordon Peake – Georgetown University
- Henrietta McNeill – University of Adelaide / Australian National University
This activity is supported by the Australian Government through a grant by the Australian Department of Defence. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Australian Government or the Australian Department of Defence.