The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands(RAMSI) recently concluded at an estimatedcost to Australia of AU$2.6 billion between 2003and 2013. RAMSI was originally conceived inthe 'state-building moment' that shaped Westernresponses to 'state failure' in the late 1990s andfirst decade of the new millennium. That momenthas now passed, with renewed fiscal austerity,growing scepticism about liberal interventionism,as well as organisational changes and policy shiftsin Australia's foreign relations. Drawing on arecent workshop presentation (Allen and Dinnenforthcoming), we consider how post-RAMSI donorassistance can help sustain gains made over the pastdecade. Referencing research in rural Solomonsand neighbouring Bougainville, we sketch somepossibilities for hybrid forms of institutional andeconomic development capable of accommodatingthe strengths of both local and liberal orders.
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