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:

  1. Examining what statecraft tools partners are deploying in the Pacific Islands.
  2. Mapping which partners are deploying what tools and where they are targeted.
  3. Considering what – if anything – particular statecraft tools achieve.
  4. Analysing what consequences – if any – our findings may have for Pacific Island countries and peoples.

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. 

Statecraftiness podcast

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 first season of the podcast launched on 6 March 2023 and episodes will be released weekly. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts

Statecraftiness storymap

Compiled by Dr 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 first iteration of this storymap will be published online in April 2023.

Other project outputs

Australia must listen to Pacific countries on defence issues
Gordon Peake and Joanne Wallis
The Canberra Times, 23 July 2022

The project team


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.