Possibility of Democracy: Tonga's Progression from Absolute Monarchy to Power Sharing
When reverence for a monarch and the quest for democracy collide
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||Government & Constitution
Description of this Book
The unique political situation in Tonga took a remarkable turn recently when the King devolved himself of his powers, making it possible for Tonga to take another step on the way to full democracy. The King's decision avoided the social revolution that looked almost inevitable in the late 1990s and again during the 2006 riots. In 2014 Tonga held its very first democratic elections (even though the nobles still have nine seats mandated).This engaging book explores how democracy is yet to fully 'embed' itself in the Tongan psyche. Democracy's shallow roots in the Pacific explain Fiji's ongoing instability, but the author's s view is that over time Tongans will come to cleave to democracy. To get there, they have picked the best out of a range of systems and have created something that works for them very well. As a result, there are lessons in the Tongan experience for other Pacific nations, and indeed for many other developing nations.
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Dr Malakai Koloamatangi is a specialist in Pacific politics and economic development who has been the Pasifika Director at Massey University since 2013. He was born in Tonga and grew up in Auckland. He has a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and PhD all from the University of Auckland His research interests include democratisation, democratic theory and practice, international political economy, Pacific politics and economic development and the universality of ideas.