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Maria Kerslake

Doctor of Philosophy, (Sociology)
Study Completed: 2008
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Maloafua. Structural Adjustment Programs: The Case for Samoa

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Ms Kerslake’s research examined structural adjustment programmes which have been promoted globally by international financial institutions as an answer to the financial problems of developing countries. Ms Kerslake examined the history of these programmes in the Independent State of Samoa, focusing specifically on the restructuring and privatisation of a government utility, namely the former Public Works Department (PWD). Ms Kerslake compared the claims made for the reform process by development economists, development consultants and planners, politicians and reform managers, with the experiences of those directly involved in various roles in the privatisation process. She found important differences between the claims made by the respective groups and concluded that people in different positions in the reform process have different experiences of the same programmes, and that their experiences are significantly influenced by their social status within Samoan society. Ms Kerslake’s research identified valuable lessons which can be applied to future reforms to assist against negative social and organisational impacts.

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley
Mr Cluny MacPherson

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