(in)Security and Security Service Providers in Pacific Island States

Dr Danielle Watson1

1Queensland University Of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Issues and challenges are not uncommon to state security service providers across the globe. For security service providers in Pacific Island States (PIS), common issues associated with functioning in a limited or resource constrained environment and adapting to continuously increasing stakeholder demands are further compounded by geographic context. The region presents unique spaces, which means security challenges characterized as normal must be dealt with alongside unconventional security issues specific to island territories with varied governance arrangements, strained resources, diverse cultures and traditions, reliance on external support, unconventionally secured spaces and large and often fragmented jurisdictions.  Here an overview of the challenges faced by PICTs’ security service providers are presented to show that security in these contexts is as much about improvisation as it is about discretion and professional practice. A context is established for further discussions about formal and informal security service provision across the region underscored by geography, tradition, culture and religion.


Danielle Watson is Senior Lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She is the former Coordinator of the Pacific Policing Programme at the University of the South Pacific. Her research focuses on regional security, policing in developing small-island countries, police/civilian relations on the margins, hotspot policing, police recruitment, training and capacity building.


Dec 09 2021