[TimorLesteStudies] Book launch in Darwin: Local Governance in Timor Leste: Lessons in Postcolonial Statebuilding, 21 May 2015

Deborah Cummins debcummins at gmail.com
Wed May 13 15:08:35 AEST 2015

*Book Launch: Local Governance in Timor-Leste: Lessons in Postcolonial
Statebuilding Deborah Cummins Friday, 21 May 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Charles Darwin University Bookstore*

Charles Darwin University,

Darwin, NT

To be launched by Professor Dennis Shoesmith, Charles Darwin University

*Event Details*

Please join Deborah Cummins for a chat, Q&A and book signing of her new
book, Local Governance in Timor-Leste: Lessons in Postcolonial
Statebuilding. This is a book about local life, law and governance in the
villages of Timor-Leste. It is also a book about what happens when very
Westernised systems of governance are imposed on villagers, without taking
into account their customary governance, culture and local realities.

As with many other postcolonial nations around the world, Timorese
communities are characterised by two systems of law and governance: the law
and governance of the state, and customary law and governance which has
served Timorese villages for centuries. It is not a question of choosing
between one or the other: customary governance, known as *lisan* or *adat*,
continues to be strong, particularly in the rural areas, even as
democratisation takes hold. This is everyday reality for Timorese
villagers, who cross daily between these two systems, but is something that
organisations engaged in the statebuilding process have found difficult to
understand and engage with. Drawing on approximately 5 years’ fieldwork,
the author examines some of the implications of this basic reality for
those working in communities, and for the statebuilding and development
process more generally.

Books on sale by the Charles Darwin University Bookstore.

*Handcrafted Timorese door prizes will be given out. Drink on arrival. *

*About the author: *Dr. Deborah Cummins is the Founder and Director of
Bridging Peoples, an agency focussed on exploring and promoting
community-sensitive approaches to development, based in Timor-Leste. Since
she first arrived in 2008, she has worked for a variety of development
organisations on issues related to local governance and leadership,
community development, women’s empowerment, supporting civil society and
more. She has also worked as a lecturer and researcher on community
development, international development, and public policy at the National
University of Timor-Leste and various Australian universities. She has
published on a variety of issues in Timor-Leste, including the interaction
of customary and state-based governance, community development,
democratisation, state- and institution-building, women's leadership and
approaches to addressing domestic violence. She lives and works in
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