Studia Historica Gedanensia

Socio‑Political Consequences of Forced Migration: The Case of Indian Indentured Workers to Fiji

Data publikacji: 24.07.2014

Studia Historica Gedanensia, 2014, Tom 5 (2014), s. 139 - 153



Satish Chand
The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
Wszystkie publikacje autora →


During the period of 1879 to 1916, 60 thousand Indian indentured workers were shipped from India to Fiji to supply labour to a nascent sugar industry. The system of indenture bonded the workers for a minimum of 5 years to their employer, the Colonial Sugar Refining Company of Australia (CSR). The economic reality of indenture, however, was that the majority of the workers were stranded in Fiji for generations. CSR departed in 1969 and Britain as the colonial power left a year later, leaving behind a deeply divided polity with ethnicity and race at the centre of political struggle. Since its independence in 1970 Fiji has had four military coup d’états and in the process transformed itself from being a nation of immigrants to one of emigrants. Economic decline and poverty, in the meantime, accelerated: the proportion of the population with income below the national poverty line increased from one in eight in 1977 to one in four by 1990 and one in three by 2002. It is, on all indications, still rising. Here I narrate the political and socio-politico‑economic consequences of indenture to Fiji.


Acemoglu D., “Root causes”, Finance & Development 2003, Vol. 40, pp. 27–43.

Acemoglu D., Johnson S., Robinson J., “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation”, American Economic Review 2001, no. 91, pp. 1369–1401.

Acemoglu D., Robinson J., Why Nations Fail, Profile Books, London 2012.

Allen R., “Capital, Illegal Slaves, Indentured Labourers and the Creation of a Sugar Plantation Economy in Mauritius, 1810–60”, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 2008, no. 36, pp. 151–170.

Andrews C., Pearson W., Indentured Labour in Fiji: An Independent Enquiry, Suva, Fiji: 1916.

Bain A., “A Protective Labour Policy? An Alternative Interpretation of Early Colonial Labour Policy in Fiji”, The Journal of Pacific History 1988, no. 23, pp. 119–136.

Brookfield H., Ellis F., Ward R.. Land, Cane and Coconuts: Papers On the Rural Economy of Fiji, Australian National University, Canberra 1989.

Burton J., The Fiji of Today, CH Kelly, London 1910.

Capoccia G., Kelemen D., “The Study of Critical Junctures: Theory, Narrative, and Counterfactuals in Historical Institutionalism”, World Politics 2007, no. 59, pp. 341–369.

CSR, Sugar in Fiji, Colonial Sugar Refining Company, Sydney.

France P., The Charter of the Land: Custom and Colonization on Fiji, Oxford University Press, Melbourne 1969.

France P., “The Founding of an Orthodoxy: Sir Arthur Gordon and the Doctrine of the Fijian Way of Life”, The Journal of the Polynesian Society 1968, Vol. 77, no. 1, pp. 6–32.

Gillion K., Fiji’s Indian Migrants: A History to the End of Indenture in 1920, Oxford University Press, Melbourne 1962.

Gillion K., The Fiji Indians: Challenge to European Dominance, 1920–1946 , Australian National University Press, Canberra 1977.

Hince K., “Man with a Mission: Edward Sanday”, Pacific Island Monthly 1987, pp. 40–45.

Knapman B., “Capitalism’s Economic Impact in Colonial Fiji, 1874–1939: Development or Underdevelopment?”, The Journal of Pacific History 1985, Vol. 20, pp. 66–83.

Knapman B., Fiji’s Economic History, 1874–1939: Studies of Capitalist Colonial Development, (: Australian National University, Canberra 1987.

Kurer O., “Land tenure and sugar production in Fiji: property rights and economic performance”, Pacific Economic Bulletin 2001, Vol. 16, pp. 94–105.

Lal V., Fiji, Coups in Paradise: Race, Politics and Military Intervention, Atlantic Heights , Zed Books, London−New Jersey 1990.

Lal P.,Reddy M., “Old Wine in a New Bottle? Proposed Sugar Industry Restructuring and Land Conflict in Fiji”, Pacific Economic Bulletin 2003, Vol. 18, pp. 79–99.

Landes D., The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor, WW Norton & Company, New York 1999.

Lawson S., The Failure of Democratic Politics in Fiji, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1990.

LeggeJ., Britain in Fiji, 1858–1880, Macmillan, Chicago 1958.

Levine R., Law, Endowments, and Property Rights,National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass.: 2005.

Mayer A., Indians in Fiji, University Press, Oxford 1963.

Mayer A., Peasants in the Pacific: a Study of Fiji Indian Rural Society, University of California Press, Berkley 1973.

Mintz S., Sweetness and Power: The Pplace of Sugar in World History, Penguin Books, New York 1986.

Mintz S., “The Culture History of a Puerto Rican Sugar Cane Plantation: 1876–1949”, The Hispanic American Historical Review 1953, Vol. 33, pp. 224–251.

Moynagh M., Brown Or White?: A History of the Fiji Sugar Industry, 1873–1973, Australian National University, Canberra 1981.

Munro D., “In the Wake of the Leonidas: Reflections on Indo‑Fijian Indenture Historiography”, The Journal of Pacific Studies 2005, Vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 93–117.

Nandan S., Requiem for a Rainbow: Aa Fijian Indian story, Pacific Indian Publications, Canberra 2001.

Narayan P., Prasad B., “Economic Importance of the Sugar Industry for Fiji”, Review of Urban & Regional Development Studies 2005, Vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 104–114.

Narsey W., “Monopoly Capital, White Racism and Superprofits in Fiji: A Case Study of the CSR”. Journal of Pacific Studies 1979, Vol. 5, pp. 66–146.

Norton R., Race and Politics in Fiji, University of Queensland Press, Australia 1990.

Robertson R.,Tamanisau A., Fiji: Shattered Coups, Pluto Press, Sydney 1988.

Rodrik D., Subramanian A., Trebbi F., Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge 2002.

Sanadhya T., My twenty-one years in the Fiji Islands, Fiji Museum, Suva 1991.

Saunders K., Indentured Labour in the British Empire, 1834−1920, Routledge Kegan & Paul, Sydney 1984.

Scarr D., Fiji: A Short History, George Allen and Urnwin, Sydney 1984.

Sharpham J., Rabuka of Fiji: The Authorised Biography of Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka Central Queensland University Press, Australia 2000.

Sokoloff K., Engerman S., “History Lessons: Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World”, The Journal of Economic Perspectives 2000, Vol. 14, pp. 217–232.

Sultan Barakat, After the Conflict: Reconstruction and Development in the Aftermath of War, IB Tauris, London 2005.

Sutherland W., Beyond the Politics of Race: An Alternative History of Fiji to 1992, Department of Political and Social Change, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra 1992.

Terrance C., “Owners, immigrants and ethnic conflict in Fiji and Mauritius”, Ethnic and Racial Studies 1994, Vol. 17, pp. 301–324.

Tinker H., A New System of Slavery , Oxford University Press, London 1974.

Veracini L., “Emphatically Not a White Man’s Colony”, Journal of Pacific History 2008, Vol. 43, pp. 189–205.

Ward R., Kingdon E., “Land, Law and Custom: Diverging Realities in Fiji”, Land, Custom and Practice in the South Pacific 1995), pp. 198–249.

Wolf E., Mintz S., “Haciendas and Plantations in Middle America and the Antilles”, Social and Economic Studies 1957, Vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 380–412.


Informacje: Studia Historica Gedanensia, 2014, s. 139 - 153

Typ artykułu: Oryginalny artykuł naukowy



Socio‑Political Consequences of Forced Migration: The Case of Indian Indentured Workers to Fiji


The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052 Australia

Publikacja: 24.07.2014

Status artykułu: Otwarte __T_UNLOCK

Licencja: Żadna

Udział procentowy autorów:

Satish Chand (Autor) - 100%

Korekty artykułu:


Języki publikacji:


Liczba wyświetleń: 3380

Liczba pobrań: 5803