This book examines the causes of the violence and unrest that erupted in Solomon Islands between late 1998 and mid-2003, a period known as the Ethnic Tension, from the perspective of ex-militants. Drawing on in-depth interviews with thirty-nine men who describe themselves as ex-militants, it considers whether the Ethnic Tension was driven by greed or grievance. It situates the views of ex-militants within the historiography and anthropology of Solomon Islands as well as their own conceptions of history and the places of their respective “peoples” in the historical processes of colonization, development, and nation building. In addition to the interviews with ex-militants, the book relies on interviews with noncombatants such as women, tribal leaders, and politicians, as well as court and police documents associated with the “Tension Trials.” It also combines “new” political economy with “old” political economy and political ecology as explanatory frameworks for the Ethnic Tension.
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