Declarations of ‘Self‐Reliance’: Alternative Visions of Dependency, Citizenship and Development in Vanuatu

Rachel Smith* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses how dependency's antonym, ‘self-reliance’ expresses and shapes aspirations for development, and ideas about citizenship in Vanuatu. This ‘keyword’ was popularized in the process of decolonization and nation-building in Vanuatu, and influenced by Dependency Theory, Pan-Africanism, Black Internationalism, and trans-Pacific visions of decolonization and development. But vernacular ideas of ‘self-reliance’ also articulate different aspirations for development at ‘grassroots’ community level, as will be shown in two case studies. The first is a community with a high degree of engagement in New Zealand's seasonal worker programme. The second is around the cultivation of kava — a plant with relaxant and soporific properties — for burgeoning domestic and export markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-256
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2021


  • vanuatu
  • dependency theory
  • development
  • self-reliance
  • decolonization


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