Focusing on the vulnerability and resilience to economic shocks at the household level, this book draws on extensive research activities carried out in two Melanesia countries: the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In particular, it identifies the household impacts of the recent food, fuel and economic crises. The contributors also examine resilience by identifying how households responded to these recent economic events in order to cope with their impacts. Findings indicate that households are vulnerable to a range of shocks and often struggle to cope with their impacts. Shocks are making it harder for households to meet their basic needs. Households in Melanesia are facing increasing demands for money, in particular for school fees, basic foodstuffs and customary obligations. Concurrently, there are limited domestic opportunities for formal employment. Traditional social support networks are strong and are an important form of resilience. However, there is evidence that they are disintegrating. Of particular focus are the gendered impacts. Women are found to bear a disproportionate share of the burden in adjusting to household shocks. The authors highlight key areas in which public policy and development programmes can reduce household vulnerability and increase their resilience to future economic shocks.
Simon Feeny is Associate Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
"It is this journey of gaining a new subjecthood that Paik explores in her book quite successfully. This story of education of Dalit women is fundamentally different from the popular historical narrative on the subject that draws almost entirely from the upper-caste Hindu experience."
Surinder S. Jodhka, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Pacific Affairs: Volume 89, No. 2 – June 2016 pp.467