The Evolution of Cooperation on Bougainville: A study of the theory of cooperation and the Bougainville peace process during the decade 2001 - 2010
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Between 1988 and 1998 Papua New Guinea and Bougainville were engaged in a violent and destructive civil war, resulting primarily from the economic and environmental consequences stemming from mining on Bougainville, as well as historic economic, ethnic and political cleavages. A ceasefire in 1998 set into motion the Bougainville peace process. This thesis aims to test the theory of cooperation, developed by Robert Axelrod, and attempts to locate evidence of his characteristics of successful cooperation within the Bougainville case. By analysing ten years of data sourced from the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier daily newspaper, using a qualitative content analysis method, this research found considerable evidence of Axelrod’s characteristics of cooperation. As a result, cooperation between the Papua New Guinean National Government and the then-newly formed Bougainville Government, has made considerable progress towards establishing a sustainable and lasting peace.