[TimorLesteStudies] New article: Ann Wigglesworth: The Growth of Civil Society in Timor-Leste: Three Moments of Activism

Bu Wilson bu.wilson at anu.edu.au
Sat Nov 3 20:31:13 EST 2012

Ann Wigglesworth (2012): The Growth of Civil Society in Timor-Leste: Three
Moments of Activism, Journal of Contemporary Asia, DOI:10.1080/00472336.2012.735545


During the dramatic upheavals and conflicts that have accompanied political independence

in Timor-Leste, Timorese activists have made an important, sometimes overlooked,

contribution. This paper highlights the significant roles they played at three major turning points

over the past 15 years – the Santa Cruz massacre in 1991, the UN-sponsored independence ballot

in 1999 and the political-military crisis in 2006. Each one of these events was a starting point for a

new phase in Timorese development history and a new phase in the growth of Timorese civil society.

The personal reflections of Timorese activists provide poignant insight into their changing

focus of activism as Timor-Leste became independent. Their ‘‘active citizenship’’ provided a mechanism

to both contribute to and contest the mainstream nation-building processes which were,

in some cases, perceived to be overly influenced by Western standards and often failed to acknowledge

or respect Timorese culture and traditions.

KEY WORDS: Civil society, active citizenship, Timor-Leste, young people, post-conflict


Dr Bu V.E. Wilson

T: Vanuatu +678 598 2646 (mobile); +678 22626 (landline)
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