Subscribers will have noticed that we have fallen behind with our issues. We had hoped to catch up this year, but this has not been possible. Volume 8 will therefore be our 2004-5 volume.


   Last year, on 30 April, Allan Patience gave his inaugural lecture as Professor of Politics at the University of Papua New Guinea. He spoke on failed and vulnerable states and the political science of Melanesian regionalism. This was a well-attended event which sparked great interest and a lively debate. Professor Patience has graciously agreed to let us publish a revised version of his lecture. We are trying to forward the debate by publishing with it articles on the vulnerability and failure of states in our own area and in other parts of the world. Where possible we hope to continue to publish linked articles which will examine problems which the South Pacific shares with other, similar areas and place them in a global context.


   We also believe that a publication like ours should give publicity to other activities and publications in our fields of interest. This is the function of our new section “Notes and Notices”. Our journal emerged from the South Pacific Journal of Psychology, which still continues. Mr Leo Marai explains this history and draws attention to the special issue of SPJP which he has just co-edited on the development of psychology in Oceania; while Dr Steven Winduo sets out the aims of the recently established Melanesian and Pacific Studies at the University of Papua New Guinea. We hope that other editors and directors in our fields will continue to make use of the opportunity which we are providing.


   This is our biggest issue so far. We hope that it will be our best and our most interesting.



Peter J. Yearwood

Port Moresby