Sandra Tarte - Associate Professor, Acting Head of School (SoLaSS), Director Politics and International Affairs Program

Office: 014-254

Tel: 323-3577


Sandra specializes in the international politics of the Pacific islands region. Her publications include Japan’s Aid Diplomacy and the Pacific Islands (1998) and the New Pacific Diplomacy (2015), co-edited with Greg Fry. She has consulted for the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, the South Pacific Regional Environment Program, the International Development Centre, Tokyo, and Greenpeace Pacific. Sandra grew up in Fiji and studied at the University of Melbourne, University of Tokyo and Australian National University.

Sandra also heads the SGDIA WPS Editorial Committee

Academic Qualifications

  • BA (Honours) in Political Science – Melbourne University, Australia.
  • PhD. in East Asian Studies – Australian National University, Australia.


  • PL201 International Politics
  • PL400 Regional Diplomacy in the Pacific Islands

MA/PhD Supervisions


  • George Hao’au: Inclusion, Participation and Legitimacy in Pacific Regionalism


  • John Ta’amora: Solomon Islands Foreign Policy Independence and the Impact of RAMSI
  • Jope Tarai: The South Pacific Tuna Treaty: A Case Study in Collective Diplomacy
  • Frederick Faabusa, ‘Customary land disputes in Solomon Islands’
  • Danielle Edwards: Rethinking Regionalism for Small Island Developing States: Case of the Caribbean and Pacific   – completed
  • Maria Sahib, ‘An Assessment of Marine Stewardship Council Certification in the Pacific’;
  • Gordon Nanau, ‘Decentralisation in Solomon Islands’;
  • Leonard Paia,‘The Politics of the Constituency Development Fund in Solomon Islands’;
  • Hideharu Toba, ‘Senior Overseas Volunteer Program in Japan’s ODA’;
  • Luisa Senibulu, ‘New Professionalism in the Fiji Military Forces’;
  • Milika Wakainabete, ‘The Role of Overseas Missions in Fiji’s Foreign Policy’;
  • Atele Dutt, ‘The role of the Fiji police force in International Peacekeeping Operations’;
  • Jokapeci Qiolevu, ‘Security cooperation and conflict prevention in the Pacific: Case of Fiji’.


  • Politics and democratic transition in Fiji
  • Regionalism in the Pacific Islands
  • Oceans Governance



Books and Monographs

2015 The New Pacific Diplomacy (co-editor with Greg Fry), Australian National University Press, Canberra.

2015 ‘No Ordinary Election: The Fiji General Election of 2014’, (co-editor with Vijay Naidu), Journal of Pacific Studies, Vol.35, No.2.Special Issue, University of the South Pacific.

Articles in Refereed Journals and Publications 

2021 ‘Reconciling Regional Security Narratives in the Pacific’, East Asia, () 1 – 15. DOI: 10.1007/s12140-021-09367-w

2020      Carnegie, Paul, Naidu, Vijay and Tarte, Sandra. ‘Elections and the Chain of Democratic Choice’, The Journal of Pacific Studies, 20: 2, pp. 6-14.

2018 with Dornan, Matthew and Morgan, Wesley and Cain, Tess N. What’s in a term? “Green growth” and the “blue‐green economy” in the Pacific islands. Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies

2018 with Carnegie, P.J. The politics of transition in Fiji: Is it charting a democratic course? Australian Journal of Politics and History, 64:2.

2017 ‘The Changing Paradigm of Pacific Regional Politics’, The Roundtable: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Vol.106, Issue 2. DOI: 10.1080/00358533.2017.1296709.

2014 ‘Regionalism and Changing Regional Order in the Pacific Islands’, Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies,  Vol.1, No.2, pp.312-324.

2008 ‘An Analysis of Fiji’s Coup Culture and Prospects for Democracy’, Comparative Democratic Studies, Vol.4, No.2 (December), pp.107-120.

2002 ‘A Duty to Cooperate: Building a Regional Regime for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific, Ocean Yearbook, Volume 16.  University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, pp. 261-99.

2002 ‘Fiji in Review, 2001’, The Contemporary Pacific, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 439-446.

2001 ‘Fiji in Review, 2000’, The Contemporary Pacific, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp 529-541.

2000 ‘Fiji in Review, 1999’, The Contemporary Pacific, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 507-15.

2000 ‘Regional Fisheries in the Pacific – Cooperating to Protect Marine Resources’, Indigenous Affairs, No. 1: pp.48-53.

Chapters in Books

2021  ‘Building a Strategic Partnership: Fiji-China Relations since 2009’, The China Alternative: Changing Regional Order in the Pacific Islands, Graeme Smith and Terence Wesley-Smith (Eds), ANU Press, Canberra, pp.375-395. DOI

2015 ‘A New Pacific Regional Voice? The Pacific Islands Development Forum’, The New Pacific Diplomacy, Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte (Eds), ANU Press, Canberra, pp. 79-88.

2010 ‘Fiji islands: Security Challenges and Defense Policy issues’, Asia Pacific Countries Security Outlook and Implications for the Defense Sector, National Institute for Defense Studies Joint Research Series No.5, Tokyo, pp.67-84.

2010 ‘Fiji’s Look North Strategy and the Role of China’, in Terence Wesley-Smith and Edgar A. Porter (Eds), China in Oceania: Reshaping the Pacific?, Berghahn Books. NY, pp.118-132.

2009 ‘The Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean: Implementation Challenges from a Historical Perspective’, in Quentin Hanich and Martin Tsamenyi (Eds), Navigating Pacific Fisheries: Legal and Policy Trends in the Implementation of International Fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Region, Ocean Publications, University of Wollongong, pp.204-220.

2009 ‘Reflections on Fiji’s Coup Culture’, in Jon Fraenkel, Stewart Firth and Brij V. Lal (Eds) The 2006 Military Takeover in Fiji: A Coup to End all Coups, ANU E Press, Canberra, pp. 409-414.

2008 ‘Norms and Japan’s Foreign Aid Policy in the South Pacific’ in Keiko Hirata and Yoichiro Sato (Eds), Norms, Interests and Power in Japanese Foreign Policy, Palgrave, New York, pp.129-151.

2006 ‘Managing Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific: A regional success story?’ in Jenny Bryant-Tokelau and Ian Frazer (Eds), Redefining the Pacific? Regionalism: Past, Present and Future, Ashgate, The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series, London, pp.89-99.

2005 ‘Japan’s ODA in the Pacific island states’, in David Arase (Ed), Japan’s Foreign Aid: Old Continuities and New Directions’, Routledge Contemporary Japan Series, London and New York, pp.235-252.

2004 ‘Tuna for the Future – The Pacific’s Challenge’, in Cliff Benson (Ed), The Green Pay-Off: Sustainable Development = Economic Growth, 2002 Parkinson Memorial Lecture Series, University of the South Pacific, Suva, pp.32-37.

2002 ‘Rethinking Security in the South Pacific: Fiji and Solomon Islands’, in Bruce Vaughn (ed), The Unravelling of Island Asia, Government, Communal and Regional Instability Praeger, Westport, CT. and London, pp.61-81.

Other articles 

2018 ‘Putting the ‘Pacific’ into Japan’s Indo-Pacific strategy’, East Asia Forum.

2016 ‘Fiji emerges from 2016 undaunted by disaster, East Asia Forum.

2016 ‘What Rabuka’s return means for Fijian politics’, East Asia Forum,

2013 ‘Pacific Islands Forum at a Crossroads’, The Interpreter (Lowy Institute for International Policy),

2012 ‘The Pacific islands in 2012: navigating diplomatic cross currents’, East Asia Forum,  2012/12/27

2012 ‘Japan’s Pacific islands diplomacy at a crossroads’, East Asia Forum, 2012/ 05/24

2011 ‘Fiji’s search for new friends’, East Asia Forum, 2011/01/13

2011 ‘Australia and the Pacific islands: a loss of focus or a loss of direction?’, East Asia Forum, 2011/04/29

2010 ‘A year of greater entrenchment for Fiji’s military regime’, East Asia Forum, 2010/01/01

2003 ‘Establishing a Foothold: The European Union in the Western and Central Pacific Tuna Fishery’, Samudra Report, International Collective of Fish Workers, No.35, July, pp.1-13.

2002 Whither the Pacific Islands Forum?’, APEC Economies Newsletter, Vol. 6 No. 9,September 2002, pp. 1-2.

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