[TimorLesteStudies] New article: 'National Identity in Timor-Leste: Challenges and Opportunities'

Michael Leach MLEACH at groupwise.swin.edu.au
Wed Mar 24 23:13:16 EST 2010

Damien Kingsbury, 'National Identity in Timor-Leste: Challenges and
Opportunities’, has been published in South-East Asia Research Vol 18,
No 1. March 2010. It is also available on line:


Following a long independence struggle and international intervention,
in 2006 the tiny impoverished state of Timor-Leste almost imploded in
civil chaos and institutional collapse. The events of the time were
quickly defined in terms of an east-west geographical and, broadly,
linguistic and political divide, corresponding to pro- and
anti-government groupings. International intervention quelled the worst
of the violence, although elections in 2007 confirmed the general
tendency, if not an absolute alignment, to the divide that had appeared
in 2006. However, much also united Timor-Leste historically and
culturally and, increasingly, in a broad acceptance of civic
institutions. It was from this base that the small and sometimes fragile
state began to build what promised to be a more coherent future.

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