State fragility in PNG

Crawford School of Public Policy | Development Policy Centre
State fragility in PNG

Event details


Date & time

Friday 01 October 2021


Online via Zoom


Dr Nematullah Bizhan and Emanual Gorea


Arichika Okazaki
02 6125 6805

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The case of PNG shows the difficulty of forging a national identity and creating effective state institutions. State weakness and societal fragmentation are dominant. The archipelago nature of the country has had a dominant role in the latter. Politics in this context shows a stable-fragile characteristic. On the one hand, despite persistent political instability, democracy has survived in the past half-century mainly due to societal diversity and the consensual nature of decision-making embedded in communities. On the other, even though PNG is a resource-rich county, successive governments have not converted the economic benefits of the mineral boom into effective development outcomes, and high levels of poverty and inequality exist. Many of these characteristics reinforce each other, trapping the country, for now, in a low-level equilibrium. This seminar examines dimensions of state fragility and look at what might change, and how PNG might break out of the equilibrium currently trapping the country in poverty and state weakness.

This seminar is based on the speakers’ working paper, A weak state and strong microsocieties in PNG.


Dr Nematullah Bizhan
Lecturer in Public Policy, Development Policy Centre, ANU

Emanual Gorea
Head of Public Policy Management Division, School of Business and Public Policy, UPNG

The ANU-UPNG seminar series is part of the partnership between the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and the UPNG School of Business and Public Policy, supported by the PNG-Aus Partnership.

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