In this interview with Dr Lorenz Gonschor, we explore the geopolitics of the Pacific Islands and Fiji. Dr Gonschor discusses Australia’s role in regional security, the strategic interests of major powers like the USA, China, and the EU, especially France. The conversation includes the influence of emerging powers such as India and Indonesia.

An overview of the Pacific Islands Forum is provided, along with its historical challenges and Russia’s involvement. Economic diplomacy, dependency on foreign aid, and climate change impacts are also discussed. Additionally, Dr Gronschor highlights energy security concerns and Fiji’s leadership and challenges in international relations, ending with the local interest in political science studies.


  • Introduction
  • Australia’s Role in Security Dynamics
  • Geography of the Pacific Islands
  • Perception of Australia as a Western Power
  • Strategic Interests of Major Powers (Australia, USA, China)
  • The Complex Position of the European Union (France)
  • Influence of Emerging Powers (India, Middle East, Azerbaijan, Indonesia)
  • The Pacific Islands Forum: Overview and Functions
  • Historical Challenges Faced by the Pacific Islands Forum
  • Russian Involvement in the Pacific Region
  • Challenges in Economic Diplomacy
  • Dependency on Foreign Aid in the Pacific Islands
  • Climate Change Debate: Rising Sea Levels and Extreme Weather
  • Climate Change Activism in the Pacific Islands
  • Energy Security Concerns
  • Fiji’s Leadership Role in the Pacific
  • Fiji’s Challenges in International Relations
  • Local Interest in Studying Political Science

Lorenz Gonschor

Lorenz Gonschor is a senior lecturer in politics and international affairs at School of Law and Social Science, Discipline of Government, Development and International Affairs, the University of the South Pacific, Fiji Islands.

Lorenz’ broad range of research interests include both historical and contemporary governance and politics of Oceania. More specifically, he is interested in the long-term development of Pacific regionalism, as it was first promoted by the Hawaiian government in the 19th century.

Connected with his interests in the history of diplomacy and regionalism, he also takes an active interest in the decolonisation of the remaining colonial territories of the region, e.g. French Polynesia, Rapa Nui, and Norfolk Island.

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