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If everyone returned, the island would sink: Urbanisation and migration in Vanuatu

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Two of the defining processes of the 20th and 21st Centuries have been urbanisation and migration. Intrinsically intertwined, both rural and urban spaces have been transformed across the Global South. These processes are heterogeneous in nature and have created, reinforced and challenged economic, social and spatial inequalities. Whilst international migration has garnered much interest, both within and beyond academia, internal migration remains the dominant and key phenomenon shaping everyday mobilities. Across the Pacific Islands, increasing urbanisation and migration is changing contemporary island life. Indeed, internal migration is dominating the flows of people in the Melanesian states of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Drawing upon the everyday experiences of islanders from the small island of Paama in Vanuatu and the capital Port Vila, this book unpacks the ongoing, complex connectiveness between the rural and urban lives of the Paamese. Situated in Malampa Province, Paama island is home to approximately 20 villages and 1,544 Paamese (2009, Census). However, this only represents a small percentage of the 6,521 people who identify as Paamese across Vanuatu. Consequently, this community offers an ideal case study to consider translocalism and mobility. The book focuses on the experiences of ni-Vanuatu from the four villages of Liro, Liro Nesa, Asuas and Voravor that make up the greater Liro Area on Paama.



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Island Studies Journal

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University of Prince Edward Island

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