Book Chapter

Indigenous responses to colonialism in an island state: a geopolitical ecology of Kanaky-New Caledonia

Simon Batterbury, Séverine Bouard, Matthias KOWASCH

Terrestrial transformations: a political ecology approach to society and nature | Rowman and Littlefield | Published : 2020


In this chapter we relate New Caledonia's geopolitical history to key themes in political ecology. This small island territory exemplifies many of the problems experienced by the world's few decolonized states. Recent referendum results on independence from France conceal a geopolitical ecology of struggle going back to the mid 1800s, one that led to the slow reorientation of a mineral rich colonial island territory towards devolution of political power, but not yet to independence. The colonial period led to land dispossession, forced labour and genocides imposed on indigenous Kanak clans. But the lesson for political ecologists is not the usual one of oppressive colonial regimes discrimina..

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University of Melbourne Researchers