Power, politics and coalitions in the Pacific

This research project involves case studies of five coalitions of varied sizes, types and locations in the Pacific that are working on issues of gender and power. It asks:

  • How did the case study coalitions form?
  • Who was involved, and why?
  • What have they achieved, and how (with a particular emphasis on how power was addressed)?
  • How was their work enabled, or constrained by external actors/donors? 

Findings highlight four factors that seem to have shaped the coalitions studied, and their ability to promote sustained social change in gender norms and power relations:

  • Formative events that prompt collective action on an issue;
  • The nature of the coalition’s ownership;
  • The shared values and interests on which the coalitions is based; and
  • The nature of the coalition’s leadership.

Understanding how these factors influence each other, and how they interact with different forms of power, offers possibilities for better supporting and enabling the work of coalitions. 

Researchers: Tait Brimacombe, Gillian Fletcher and Chris Roche (La Trobe University)

Project supported by: Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development, an initiative of the Australian Government's aid program.

Image: A women's committee in Samoa (Sally Sitou, DFAT)

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About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more

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