Land, power and change: globalization and customary land tenures in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste

Employing a methodology which draws upon both social theory and ethnography, with empirical research in three countries in the Pacific region — Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste — the research addresses itself to the following question: In conditions of globalization, how are systems of customary land usage and tenure in the three countries under consideration being transformed, and with what effect on structures and relationships of power?

Theoretically, the research is framed by an attentiveness to the intersection of different social formations — customary, traditional and modern — which provides a conceptual basis for theorising and making sense of the transformations which are underway.

Philosophically, the research is driven by a concern with questions of change, power, conflict and agency; particularly, with the ways in which people and communities in politically-marginalised parts of the world are impacted by, and in turn respond to, conditions of massive social change.

Start By 29 March 2010
Completed By 30 July 2012
Outcomes Stead, Victoria, (2010) 'Transformations to Customary Land Tenure in the Pacific', paper presented at Asia-Pacific Week Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, 8 February.
Researcher(s) Victoria Stead
Program Human Security and Disasters
Location(s) Dili – Timor-Leste
Honiara – Solomon Islands
Port Moresby – Papua New Guinea