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'A calling from god': politicians and religiosity in the Pacific islands

'A calling from god': politicians and religiosity in the Pacific islands
'A calling from god': politicians and religiosity in the Pacific islands
Despite its relative absence from much of the literature on politics in the Pacific region, religiosity is an assumed and often unchallenged component of political life. Drawing from more than 100 in-depth biographical interviews with politicians, around 40 published life histories and other publicly available material, this article uses Pierre Bourdieu's concept of ‘habitus’ to explore how politicians see the role of faith and religious association contributing to their public profile, election campaigning, representative and legislative functions, and ‘inner’ life. It advances two arguments: firstly, that ideal analytic distinctions like state, society and religion become problematic in the Pacific Islands where political leaders tend to occupy multiple roles and assume overlapping identities; and, secondly, that despite the overwhelming religiosity seemingly apparent in public rhetoric, secularization is an effervescent narrative across the region with politicians vocal protagonists on all sides of this debate.
1478-1158
283-197
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2

Corbett, Jack (2013) 'A calling from god': politicians and religiosity in the Pacific islands. Global Change, Peace and Security, 25 (3), 283-197. (doi:10.1080/14781158.2013.810616).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Despite its relative absence from much of the literature on politics in the Pacific region, religiosity is an assumed and often unchallenged component of political life. Drawing from more than 100 in-depth biographical interviews with politicians, around 40 published life histories and other publicly available material, this article uses Pierre Bourdieu's concept of ‘habitus’ to explore how politicians see the role of faith and religious association contributing to their public profile, election campaigning, representative and legislative functions, and ‘inner’ life. It advances two arguments: firstly, that ideal analytic distinctions like state, society and religion become problematic in the Pacific Islands where political leaders tend to occupy multiple roles and assume overlapping identities; and, secondly, that despite the overwhelming religiosity seemingly apparent in public rhetoric, secularization is an effervescent narrative across the region with politicians vocal protagonists on all sides of this debate.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 9 July 2013
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388683
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388683
ISSN: 1478-1158
PURE UUID: 1e5282c8-fa70-48e9-9d9f-9bccec79e11a
ORCID for Jack Corbett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2005-7162

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Mar 2016 13:38
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:50

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