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After Moruora: France in the South Pacific

by Nic Maclellan & Jean Chesneaus

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A fascinating, comprehensive history of French colonialism


After Moruroa looks at the history of French colonialism in the Pacific—from the French Revolution to the Matignon Accords in New Caledonia and the end of nuclear testing at Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls.


What is the future for France’s Pacific colonies? As France integrates further with the European Union, can it retain ties with Pacific islands on the other side of the world? How will political changes in New Caledonia and a growing independence movement in French Polynesia impact on Paris?


Nic Maclellan and Jean Chesneaux review the social, cultural, political and environmental impact of France’s presence in the region. They document French policy over two centuries, drawing on sources from Europe, Australia and the Pacific.


With France’s “Grand Design” for the Pacific under challenge today, this authoritative study looks at the future for the South Pacific—after Moruroa.



Nic Maclellan has worked as a journalist, researcher and community development worker in the Pacific islands. He currently works with the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) in Suva, Fiji. He has written widely on development, environment and disarmament issues, and is co-author, with Jean Chesneaux, of La France dans le Pacifique: De Bougainville à Moruroa (Editions la Découverte, Paris, 1992).


Jean Chesneaux is emeritus professor of Asian and Pacific History at the Sorbonne (Université de Paris VII). He has traveled extensively the Pacific region since 1970. His recent publications include: Transpacifiques (Editions la Découverte, Paris, 1987), Brave Modern World (Thames and Hudson, London, 1993) and Abiter le temps (Bayard, Paris, 1996).