Development and Negative Constructions of Ethnic Identity: Responses to Asian Fisheries Investment in the Pacific


This article explores ethnic identities in representations of tuna fishing and canning companies in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. One point raised by the analysis is that while national identities in these countries are often disrupted by subnational ethnic identities, strong nationalist discourses pervade representations of these companies. The nationalism apparent in responses to these companies is negative, reacting against perceived exploitation by foreigners through narratives of corporate wrongdoing. This article investigates the significance of this style of identification and questions whether the national identities entailed in negative representations of foreign investment constitute resistance against development or a disempowering victim identification that reifies a subordinate position in the world political economy.