Publications

A Closer Look – Fiji’s COVID-19 Crisis

Publication Date: 14 July 2021
Author(s): Sargam Goundar; Kim Andreas Kessler
Publisher: The Fiji Times

Abstract: Fiji’s COVID-19 story started with the Fijian Government taking action in the form of travel restrictions to Fiji and mandatory border quarantine to keep the virus out. This was largely driven by an anticipation of Fiji’s lack of resilience due to communal living, high NCD (non-communicable disease) rates, a fragile health system, and so on. However, in the context of the current COVID-19 community outbreak in Fiji, while case numbers are soaring, the Fijian Government response has been mostly reactive and ‘outward looking’, towards foreign aid, foreign expertise and vaccination. While external support is needed, it is urgent to again look ‘inward’ as well, to understand problems of ordinary Fijians on the ground, and to provide context-specific proactive solutions. A closer look into spatial and other contextual factors of the current crisis is crucial for a better understanding of the realities on the ground. In the following we identify some of these realities, which can help to understand why the current Fijian Government approach needs adjustment if it is going to be fit for purpose for the current crisis in Fiji.

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Fiji’s COVID-19 Crisis: A Closer Look

Publication Date: 9 July 2021
Author(s): Sargam Goundar; Kim Andreas Kessler
Publisher: Devpolicy

Abstract: Fiji’s COVID-19 story started with the Fijian Government taking action in the form of travel restrictions to Fiji and mandatory border quarantine to keep the virus out. This was largely driven by an anticipation of Fiji’s lack of resilience due to communal living, high NCD (non-communicable disease) rates, a fragile health system, and so on. However, in the context of the current COVID-19 community outbreak in Fiji, while case numbers are soaring, the Fijian Government response has been mostly reactive and ‘outward looking’, towards foreign aid, foreign expertise and vaccination. While external support is needed, it is urgent to again look ‘inward’ as well, to understand problems of ordinary Fijians on the ground, and to provide context-specific proactive solutions. A closer look into spatial and other contextual factors of the current crisis is crucial for a better understanding of the realities on the ground. In the following we identify some of these realities, which can help to understand why the current Fijian Government approach needs adjustment if it is going to be fit for purpose for the current crisis in Fiji.

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Anthropology at the University of the South Pacific: From Past Dynamics to Present Perceptions

Publication Date: 25 March 2021
Author(s): Kim Andreas Kessler
Publisher: The Australian Journal of Anthropology (TAJA)

Abstract: The Pacific Island region is a key context in the history of anthropology. Yet, while much has been written about how anthropology of the Pacific Islands contributed to Anglo-American anthropology, the discipline’s institutional history in the Pacific Islands has received very little attention. This paper is the first to explore the history of anthropology at the University of the South Pacific (USP). Research findings demonstrate that anthropology lacked practical meaning in an institution established to modernise Pacific Island states. Fieldwork conducted at USP suggests that current perceptions of anthropology held by academic staff are strongly linked to the discipline’s classic era. I argue that the anti-colonial version of the Pacific Way from the 1970s onward, coupled with the hegemony of political economist and anti-culturalist approaches among the USP teaching staff in the 1980s, inhibited a meaningful engagement with the Writing Culture debate at USP. This may explain why there has been little influence by the discipline’s postmodern transformation over the past thirty years on current perceptions of anthropology at USP.

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Island People Rely on Strengths

Publication Date: 7 April 2020
Author(s): Sargam GoundarKim Andreas Kessler
Publisher: Otago Daily Times

Abstract: “Pacific Island countries and territories are internationally portrayed as particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. However, in times of crisis, it is important not to forget their strengths, write Sargam Goundar and Kim Andreas Kessler.”

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The Path to Leave No One Behind

Publication Date: December 2017
Author(s): Kim Andreas Kessler
Publisher: Poverty Wellbeing-Shareweb, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

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Leben im Ausland: Suva, Fidschi

Publication Date: 11 Mai 2016
Author(s): Kim Andreas Kessler
Publisher: Saldo

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Die reale Welt des Klimawandels

Publication Date: 17 November 2014
Author(s): Kim Andreas Kessler
Publisher: St. Galler Tagblatt

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Aitutaki: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow

Publication Date: March 2009
Author(s): Kim Andreas Kessler
Publisher: aitutaki.ch

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