[TimorLesteStudies] New book: Rhetoric and the Decolonization and the Recolonization of East Timor - David Hicks

Bu Wilson buvewilson at gmail.com
Mon Sep 22 04:04:22 EST 2014

Hicks, David (2014). Rhetoric and the Decolonization and the Recolonization
of East Timor, Routledge


By the end of the 1960s the process of decolonization had practically run
its course in Southeast Asia. One exception, however, was tiny Portuguese
Timor, where notions of self-determination and independence had yet to be
generated. In 1974, the Carnation Revolution in Portugal brought about the
end of fifty years of dictatorship, and halfway around the world, presented
a new opportunity to a small, ambitious proportion of the Timorese
population, eager to shape the future of their country.

This book presents a compelling and original perspective on the critical
period of 1974-1975 in the history of East Timor. It describes how the
language of politics helped to shape the events that brought about the
decolonization of Portuguese Timor, its brief independence as The
Democratic Republic of East Timor, and its recolonization by an Asian
neighbour. Further, it challenges the idea that this period of history was
infused by the spirit of nationalism in which the majority Timorese
partook, and which contended with other competing western –isms, including
colonialism, communism, neo-colonialism, and fascism. In contrast, the book
argues that the Timorese majority had little understanding of any of these
alien political abstractions and that the period can be most effectively
explained and understood in terms of the contrast between the political
culture of Dili, the capital, and the political culture of the rest of the
country. In turn, David Hicks highlights how the period of 1974-1975 can
offer lessons to government and international policy-makers alike who are
trying to bring about a transformation in governance from the traditional
to the legal and convert individuals from peasants to citizens.

The result of extensive fieldwork and interviews, this book will be of
interest to students and scholars of Southeast Asian studies, international
relations, post-conflict studies and post-colonial studies.
Dr Bu V.E. Wilson
Principal Consultant
Hau Meni & Associates
P.O. Box 3280
Port Vila, Efate

T: Vanuatu +678 598 2646 (mobile);
+678 22626 (landline)
T: Australia +61 (0) 407 087 086
T: Timor-Leste +670 78472485
E: buvewilson at gmail.com
S: hau.meni
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