Through an ethnographically based study of local communicative practices in the Pacific atoll society of Tokelau, the book adds to our understanding of how systems of governance are constituted by minute acts of social interaction, and are informed by our conceptions of the nature of sociality. It combines a social anthropological approach to postcolonial studies in which local and trans-national communicative practices related to governance and conflict management are analysed as different language games. The book offers an experience-near approach to local modes of conflict management and patterns of leadership, and documents how micro-level communicative practices have an impact on macro-political processes.
1. Preface; 2. Languages of governance; 3. Languages of governance in conflict; 4. Leadership and forms of sociality; 5. Conflict management; 6. Communicative practice and contested values; 7. Intertextuality; 8. Disentangling concepts; 9. Political consequences; 10. Common ground and gaps in communication; 11. Future perspectives; 12. Abbreviations; 13. Appendix; 14. References; 15. Index