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Fijian academic to head Macmillan Brown Research Centre

Pacific Scoop:

Thursday, 23 October 2014


Press Release – University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury has appointed Fijian academic Dr Steven Ratuva as professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and director of the prestigious Macmillan Brown Research Centre for Pacific Studies.University of Canterbury appoints Fijian academic to head Macmillan Brown Research Centre.

The University of Canterbury has appointed Fijian academic Dr Steven Ratuva as professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and director of the prestigious Macmillan Brown Research Centre for Pacific Studies.


The Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies aims to promote and advance scholarship and understanding of the Pacific region, its people, societies and cultures; histories; arts; politics; environment and resources; developments and future.

The Centre was founded through a bequest from the late Professor John Macmillan Brown (1846-1935), a founding Professor of the University of Canterbury and a former Vice Chancellor of the University of New Zealand who spent a considerable amount of time travelling and studying the countries of the Pacific.

One of Dr Ratuva’s tasks will be to further the ambitions of the Centre, towards a world-class facility for Pacific research.

“I’m honoured to be part of this great institution and I’m excited by the challenge of helping fulfil the Macmillan Brown Research Centre’s ambition to be a world leader in Pacific research. I’m also excited about being part of the growth of the University and the recovery of Christchurch generally.”

A recent Marsden research fund award winner, Dr Ratuva currently teaches and researches in Pacific politics, security and development at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Pacific Studies and holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Sussex.

He has worked at the Australian National University, the University of the South Pacific where he was Head of Sociology, and University of Sussex where he was a researcher on civil-military relations in Asia. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at several other universities, and part of a number of international research teams on projects on affirmative action, ethnic conflict, inequality, territorial disputes and armed conflict.

Dr Ratuva has been an international expert advisor and consultant on development, governance and regional security for a number of international organisations such as the World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO, Pacific Island Forum, International Labour Organisation, International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs and the Asian Development Bank. He has also been an advisor for the UN Committee on Decolonization and UN Department of Political Affairs.

He has published widely on governance, military coups, civil-military relations, ethnic conflict, development, affirmative action and political systems in Asia and the Pacific, and is often invited to present papers around the world on these issues. He is also advisor for a number of government and international organisations on governance and development in the Pacific, and an expert media commentator on Pacific politics and former president of the Pacific Islands Political Studies Association. He was appointed a board member of the two International Political Science Association committees (Asia Pacific and Democratization research committees) at the recent World Congress on Political Science in Montreal, Canada.

Dr Ratuva was born and raised in Fiji, and was a leading media analyst during the recent democratic elections. He is married to Adi Mere, a professional counsellor and women’s right activist. They have two grown up children, Natasha and Joji. He will start at the University of Canterbury in January.

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