Being PoliticalLeadership and Democracy in the Pacific Islands

Being PoliticalLeadership and Democracy in the Pacific Islands

Jack Corbett

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780824841027

Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press

Abstract

Politicians everywhere attract popular disaffection but in the Pacific the word ‘politician’ has increasingly become synonymous with corruption, graft and misconduct. But who are these much-maligned figures? How did they come to arrive in politics? What is it like to be a politician? Why do they enter, stay and leave? Drawing on more than 110 interviews and other published sources, including autobiographies and biographies, Being Political provides a collective portrait of the region’s political elite. This is an insider account of political life in the Pacific as seen through the eyes of those who have done the job. We come to know politicians as people with hopes and fears, pains and pleasures, vices and virtues. A reminder that politicians are human - neither saints nor sinners - is timely given the clamor of popular critique. The book concludes with a reminder that while we may not always like who politicians are, or the way they operate, representative government does not work without them.