[TimorLesteStudies] Another Timorese Doctor!

Jennifer Drysdale jenster at cres10.anu.edu.au
Fri Dec 22 14:10:32 EST 2006

On behalf of all the members of the Timor-Leste Studies Association I 
wish to congratulate Francisco da Costa Guterres who submitted and 
was awarded a PhD this year at Griffith University in Australia.

His thesis, "Elites and Prospects of Democracy in Timor" was 
completed in January 2006 and Francisco graduated in September. 
Francisco now works at TIDS (http://www.tids-et.org/)

If you would like a complete copy of Francisco's thesis please 
contact him by email: fguterres_tl at yahoo.com

Parts of the abstract are here:

"One of the conclusions made in this study is that East Timor's 
transition to democracy fails to correlate fully with any of the 
modal processes outlined in the literature. Rather, in the case of 
East Timor, a number of pathways merge. In some ways, it begins with 
what Huntington conceptualized as bottom-up 'replacement', with local 
muss publics voting against their oppressors. But one of the factors 
that quickly distinguished this case is that the voting by which 
change was organized by an external force, the United Nations (UN), 
and targeted a foreign power, the Indonesian government. In this way, 
the processed of independence and democratisation were nearly coterminous...

But if East Timor's democratic transition is complex, an account of 
the precariousness of the democracy that has been brought about is 
straightforward. Put simple, given the weakness of institutions and 
civil society organization, this thesis restores attention to the 
autonomy and voluntarism possessed by national elites. The hypothesis 
guiding this thesis, then, is that elites are disunified, but have 
avoided any return to outright warring. Further, they are at most 
'semi-loyal' in their attitudes toward democracy. Accordingly, 
democracy persists in East Timor, but is subject to many abuses..."

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