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Paths Towards Citizen Participation Among Kanak Youth in Koné (New-Caledonia)
Place of publication | Year of publication | Collation: 
Québec | 2018 | p. 149-170
ISSN 1703-9665 (numérique)
Ève Desroches-Maheux
Corporate author: 
Lien social et Politiques
Asia and the Pacific

Based on an ethnographic fieldwork, this article explores the forms and modalities taken by the civic participation of the Kanak youths living in Province Nord, New Caledonia. Being at the dawn of a referendum on its accession to a full sovereignty, this French territory of a sui generis status is now at a turning point in its history. In preparation for this event, the Nouméa Accord laid the foundations of a New-Caledonian citizenship, situated, for the moment, within the French citizenship. However, this citizenship in construction poses the question of the place given in it to the Kanak, the indigenous people of the territory. Approaching citizenship as a set of “political subjectivation processes” producing a citizenship simultaneously “determined by the state and by the subjects composing it ”, we explore the answers and “negotiation attempts” made by the Kanak youths toward it. Results show that despite some negative representations playing against them, the youths still appropriate possibilities opened up by public policies and programs in hope to make their grievances heard and to implement structuring projects. Furthermore, as those forms of civic practices are used as handles to resist French hegemony in Province Sud by youths that seek above all to strongly affirm their Kanak identities, north youth participation in the public space appears rather embedded in an inclusive approach toward other communities.

Resource Type: 
Advocacy materials
Journal articles
Civic / Citizenship / Democracy
Inclusive / Diversity
Level of education: 
Non-formal education


Citizenship; New-Caledonia; Aboriginal youth; Citizen participation
Citoyenneté; Nouvelle-Calédonie; Jeunesse autochtone; Implication citoyenne