The Old v “New” Cold War in the Pacific: Does any Comparison Make Sense?


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When: Nov 15 2019 - 12:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road, Room 3015 (3rd Floor)

The Cold War was in full flight when, 35 years ago this month, the late Dr. Robert Kiste, longtime director of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and Dr. Herr presented a contact research report to the U.S. State Department entitled “The Potential for Soviet Penetration of the South Pacific Islands: An Assessment.”  Five years later, the Berlin Wall fell, and the world entered the “post-Cold War” order.  Earlier this year, Dr. Herr published an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report “Chinese influence in the Pacific Islands: the yin and yang of Soft Power” which drew some comparisons between changes in strategic rivalry over these years.  This seminar might serve as a work-in-progress to stimulate discussion on the claim from some quarters that the Pacific Island states are about to become the subjects of a new Cold War. 

Richard Herr has taught at the University of Tasmania since his appointment in October 1972 and has held a variety of positions within the University including Head of Department. He is currently the academic coordinator for the Faculty of Law's Parliamentary Law, Practice and Procedure course, which provides professional development for the 10 Parliaments of Australasia as well as Samoa and the Solomon Islands. He earned a PhD in Political Science from Duke University and, during his academic career; he has written widely on aspects of Pacific Island affairs, parliamentary democracy, elections, Antarctic politics, and marine resource policy. Richard has held visiting appointments in New Caledonia, New Zealand, the USSR and United States (including a year-long shared attachment with CPIS and PIDP).  Prof Herr has served as a consultant to the Governments of the Pacific Islands region on a range of organizational issues for nearly three decades and most recently on the restoration of parliamentary democracy in Fiji.

Free admission

Limited seating

RSVP by Nov. 15: 944-7111 or

Paid parking is available on the UHM campus

Primary Contact Info:
Phone: 944-7111