In the lead up to presidential and parliamentary elections in 2007, this paper examines the key challenges to political stability in the Democratic Republic of East Timor. In the context of growing regional concern over 'failed states' and following the re-entry of UN and Australian forces in 2006, it analyses the key sources of political instability as East Timor attempts to consolidate the 'double transition' to independence and democracy. These include internal dissention within the governing party; defence force/police force conflicts; the evolving role of anti-system actors; the impact of pervasive intergenerational differences; the 'East-West' conflict; and the mobilisation of Church opposition groups. It is argued that the recent crisis in East Timor is better understood by moving beyond narrow versions of the 'statebuilding' paradigm, to examine the wider challenges of a 'nation-building' agenda.
Seminar, speech or other presentation
Invited address to the University of Sydney, Asia-Pacific Affairs Society, 30 March 2007