Spotlight on Scholarship

August 2023 Young people leading positive social change in Fiji and Solomon Islands   Craney, Aidan. 2022. Youth in Fiji and Solomon Islands: Livelihoods, Leadership and Civic Engagement. ANU Press.   When most people think about the Pacific, they imagine pristine beaches and warm nights. Those paying a bit more attention might consider the imminent risks of the climate crisis or the emerging danger of being geopolitically caught between China and the USA. What is unlikely to spring to mind is that the populations of Pacific island countries are predominantly made up of children and youth – and they’re only getting younger. Despite the significance of young populations through the Pacific, little research has been conducted with, on or for Pacific youth. My book, Youth in Fiji and Solomon Islands: Livelihoods, leadership and civic engagement, (partially) fills this gap. Rather than being hyperfocused on a singular issue, such as the endemically high rates of youth unemployment, the book provides a political economic overview of the intersecting issues that lead to the ‘structural minimisation’ of Pacific youth, where ‘youth are to be seen but not heard’ (Tura Lewai, Fijian civil society activist). Through conversations with youth activists and advocates, as well as ethnographic knowledge from experiences living and working in Pacific development spaces, the book explores the challenges and opportunities for young people in Fiji and Solomon Islands to achieve their individual and collective potential. Specific attention is paid to how a vicious circle has taken root in each country where youth needs and voice … Continue reading Spotlight on Scholarship