Nation-building across the urban and rural in Timor-Leste : conference report
Grenfell, Damian, Walsh, Mayra, Soares, Januario, Anselmie, Sofie, Sloman, Annie, Stead, Victoria and Trembath, Anna 2010, Nation-building across the urban and rural in Timor-Leste : conference report, Melbourne, Vic., 8-10 July 2009, Melbourne, Vic., RMIT University.
‘Nation-building across Urban and Rural Timor-Leste’ provided an opportunity for East Timorese and people from around the world to reflect, discuss and debate the nation-building process in Timor-Leste since 1999. In this context, nation-building in Timor-Leste is taken to mean the many different attempts since 1999 to ensure the political, economic and cultural integration of the population to fulfil the ambition of self rule.
Ten years after the 1999 vote for independence, this conference considered how nation-building is being experienced and responded to across urban and rural communities in Timor-Leste. Broadening the discussion beyond that of ‘state-building’, at the core of the conference was a consideration of the myriad ways the new republic has been ‘built’. Here ‘nation-building’ considers not only in terms of policy and programmatic initiatives but also grass roots experiences and perceptions of how Timor-Leste as a nation is seen and understood. For this reason, the majority of participants were East Timorese representatives from across the districts, allowing them top share their stories of nation-building.
At this conference, nation-building was discussed in terms of what appears to be one of the most significant characteristics of contemporary Timor-Leste, namely the sharp distinction found between the urbanized capital and the rural communities where the majority of the population live. Dili has emerged as the centre for economic and political power in a way that is extraordinarily disproportionate with the remainder of the country, while rural areas often remain highly isolated and continue to be dominated by subsistence agriculture.
Field of Research
160606 Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
Socio Economic Objective
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
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