Preparing a Nation?

Preparing a Nation?

The New Deal in the Villages of Papua New Guinea

Authored by: Brad Underhill orcid

Coming soon

Notify me


Preparing a Nation?, based on extensive archival research, addresses perennial questions of Australian colonialism in Papua New Guinea. To what extent did Australia prepare Papua New Guinea for independence? And what were the policies and the ideologies behind colonial development, implemented after World War Two? A key innovation of this book is to take these questions from policy desks in Canberra and Port Moresby to the villages of four administrative areas: Chimbu, Milne Bay, Sepik and New Hanover. How successful were Australian colonial planners in designing and implementing programs that could ameliorate the potential harm of market capitalism and develop ‘new’ socioeconomic structures that would combine a disparate people into an ‘imagined community’, capable of becoming an independent nation-state in the far distant future? Colonial intention is contrasted with Indigenous experience. Bradley Underhill explores an Australian governmental tendency to prioritise colonial control over Indigenous autonomy in circumstances where subjugated people do not necessarily fit within an expected narrative of compliant or westernised ‘native’.

‘I expect it will become the standard reference for its subject, which covers a pivotal aspect of Australia’s colonial administration.’
— Bill Gammage


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
ANU Press
Pacific Series
Arts & Humanities: History
Pacific: Papua New Guinea

PDF Chapters

Preparing a Nation? »

Please read Conditions of use before downloading the formats.

Other publications that may interest you