[TimorLesteStudies] New Masters thesis: Thomas Stratton: Going Over Old Ground

Bu Wilson Bu.Wilson at anu.edu.au
Wed Oct 29 08:30:27 EST 2008

Stratton, Thomas. (2008) Going Over Old Ground; How Security Sector Reform's
Component Discourses Can Help Bridge the Gap Between Theory and Practice.
Thesis-Master of Arts in Post-war Recovery Studies, Post-war Reconstruction
and Development Unit, Department of Politics, The University of York. 


(Appears it is not yet on University of York thesis collection website)

The 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste was a bloody awakening to the cracks that had
begun to appear in the
nation's security sector reform (SSR) programme. The withdrawal of
pro-Indonesian militias in 1999
and unparalleled executive powers granted to the UN were widely thought to
provide an
environment conducive to the successful construction and reform of a
security sector. Instead, the
security sector institutions that the UN created were ill-conceived and
brought the country to the
brink of civil war. The failure of the UN to establish a viable security
sector in Timor-Leste
necessitates an investigation into why, despite laudable objectives, SSR is
encountering difficulties
when put into practice. This paper seeks to address two questions that are
at the core of the divide
between theory and practice: What is the exact nature of the 'security' at
the heart of SSR? In what
form can SSR enhance the developmental process? The answers to these
questions are sought
through a re-examination of the SSR paradigm. The deconstruction of SSR into
its component
discourses reveals three important areas of contextual knowledge: the
developmental 'state of
society', salient threats in the perceptions of individuals, and
appreciation of the informal sector.
Demonstrated through its application to the Timor-Leste case study, this
framework provides a more
subtle perspective of recipient countries. Crucially, the framework also
generates context-specific
answers to the questions posed above, and can ensure SSR is shaped to
accommodate the
challenges of the environment it encounters.

Table of Contents
Abstract 2
Figures and Tables 5
Acronyms 6
Preface 8
Acknowledgements 11
Authors Declaration 12

Chapter 1: A Snapshot of Timor-Leste 13
Physical Characteristics 13
East Timorese Society 16
The Politics and Major Political Actors in Timor-Leste 22
The Economic Terrain 24
External Issues 26
Conclusion 26

Chapter 2: Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste 28
Origins of SSR 28
The 'security sector' and its role 29
Objectives and Implementation of SSR 31
An Examination of SSR in Timor-Leste 1999-2008 34
Conclusion 41

Chapter 3: Deconstructing SSR 43
Development 43
Democracy 46
Security 47
The Post-war Society 49
Institutions 50
Conclusion 53

Chapter 4: A new Perspective of Timor-Leste and its Security 56
The State of East Timorese Society 56
Threats According to the East Timorese 59
The Formation of Institutions in Timor-Leste 64

Chapter 5: Conclusion 72
A New Framework 73
Functional Analysis 74
Recommendations 75
Appendices 77
A: Research Methodology 77
B: List of Interviewees 81
C: Checklist for Semi-structured Interviews 84
D: Timeline - The UN in Timor-Leste 85
E: Map of Violence during 2007 Parliamentary Elections 86
F: Timor-Leste Projected Petroleum Revenue Profile, 1999-2041 87
G: Actors involved in the security sector 88
H: Pictures 103
Glossary 105
Bibliography 106

Bu Wilson
Regulatory  Institutions Network (RegNet) Research School of Pacific and
Asian Studies
College of Asia and the Pacific,
Australian National University 
Canberra   ACT   0200 

T: 02 6125 3194
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E: Bu.Wilson at anu.edu.au


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