Topics and questions for further discussion:


·        Consider what defines colonialism. Was East Timor ever really colonized? In what sense?

·        It has been politically argued that Indonesian Timor and East Timor do not have much in common, given their cultures, languages, and differing colonial histories. Based on what you learned from this course, forward arguments that support and / or contradict this political stance.

·        Consider the dynamics of globalization and the affects of international interests on the East Timorese nation and people from a historical (diachronic) perspective.

·        Given that East Timor was largely engineered by the United Nations and the international community at large in founding a new nation state, consider whether a new democratic nation can truly be engineered according to international and western principles of democracy? How long should such process take? What basic structures have to be put in place to ensure self-sufficiency of such a nation? Consider some of the issues raised in the Special Issues Sections.

·        After examining a copy of the East Timorese constitution (available on the official East Timor government website), consider issues of religion: diversity of religions, relationship between religion and state, and the Catholic Church’s desire to make East Timor formally a Catholic State.

·        How can traditional political organization and kinship system affect modern politics?

·        Discuss the continuity (if any) between the 1970s and current political leadership/political elites.

·        While officially the government of East Timor prefers an amicable relation with its Indonesian neighbour, the Catholic Church, local NGOs (egged on by International NGOs) desire an international human rights tribunal for atrocities committed during the Indonesian period. Should East Timor pursue such a justice venue? Why? Why not? How could the East Timorese people get justice and reconciliation?

·        How could East Timor’s economic condition influence its foreign relations with Indonesia and Australia?

·        Discuss the cultural and linguistic diversity of East Timor. Which of the traditional cultural features could have impact on nation building processes?

·        Consider Wallace’s description of the features of revitalization movements. Why do such movements arise? What kind of adaptive strategy is it?  What conditions might have generated the emergence of revitalization groups on East Timor?


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