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Spotlight on Timor-Leste


Momentum and the East Timor Independence Movement: The Origins of America’s Debate on East Timor
Shane Gunderson

Momentum and the East Timor Independence Movement: The Origins of America’s Debate on East Timor examines the campaigns by people in the United States on behalf of those seeking peace for East Timor. The diplomatic work of voluntary advisors and supporters living in the United States in the early years of the movement have not been thoroughly explored until now. Through in-depth interviews with twenty activists and intellectuals involved in the East Timor movement from 1975-1999 and qualitative data analysis on information obtained from these interviews, this book explores “momentum” and “turning points” as perceptions in the minds of individual movement actors. The author takes readers through a combination of historical events that shaped social movement actors’ attitudes and started a social movement momentum sequence in 1995. The East Timor All Inclusive Dialogue, the Timorization of Indonesia, the public outcries, organizational evolution, and a number of other turning points in the movement represented a series of successes that led to East Timor’s independence.

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Challenges of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone, and East Timor (Global Institutions)
Daisaku Higashi

Peacebuilding is a critical issue in world politics. Surprisingly, however, there has not been a full examination of concrete policies and implementation strategies to generate legitimacy in “host states” by either international relations (IR) theorists or practitioners. The objective of this book is to develop an understanding of the mechanisms for constructing—or eroding—the legitimacy of newly created governments in post-conflict peacebuilding environments. The book argues that although existing accounts in the literature contend that compliance with key political programs, and constructing legitimacy in peacebuilding, largely depend on the levels of force (guns) and resource distribution (money) aimed at people who are governed, there are other significant factors, such as inclusive governments reconciling with old enemies, and the substantial role of international organizations (IOs) as credible third parties to establish fairness and impartiality within the political process. Highashi focuses on an in-depth analysis of the challenges involved in creating a legitimate government in Afghanistan, focusing on disarmament programs with powerful warlords, and the reconciliation efforts with the insurgency, especially the Taliban. In the conclusion the book also examines three complimentary cases—Iraq, East Timor, and Sierra Leone—which consistently support the argument presented earlier. This work will be of interest to students and scholars of peacebuilding and conflict resolution as well as international relations more broadly.

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Victim Healing and Truth Commissions: Transforming Pain Through Voice in Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste (Springer Series in Transitional Justice)
Holly L. Guthrey

​This book intends to contribute to the growing body of transitional justice literature by providing insight into how truth commissions may be beneficial to victims of mass violence, based on data collected in Timor-Leste and on the Solomon Islands. Drawing on literature in the fields of victim psychology, procedural justice, and transitional justice, this study is guided by the puzzle of why truth-telling in post-conflict settings has been found to be both helpful and harmful to victims of mass violence. Existing studies have identified a range of positive benefits and negative consequences of truth-telling for victims; however, the reasons why some victims experience a sense of healing while others do not after participating in post-conflict truth commission processes continues to remain unclear. Hence, to address one piece of this complex puzzle, this book seeks to begin clarifying how truth-telling may be beneficial for victims by investigating the question: What pathways lead from truth-telling to victim healing in post-conflict settings? Building on the proposition that having voice—a key component of procedural justice—can help individuals to overcome the disempowerment and marginalisation of victimisation, this book investigates voice­ as a causal mechanism that can create pathways toward healing within truth commission public hearings. Comparative, empirical studies that investigate how truth-telling contributes to victim healing in post-conflict settings are scarce in the field of transitional justice. This book begins to fill an important gap in the existing body of literature. From a practical standpoint, by enhancing understanding of how truth commissions can promote healing, the findings and arguments in this volume provide insight into how the design of transitional justice processes may be improved in the future to better respond to the needs of victims of mass violence.

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Timor-Leste: Transforming Education Through Partnership in a Small Post-Conflict State
Jude Butcher, Peter Bastian, and Margie Beck

This book argues that development aid in small post-conflict states, particularly in the educational field, benefits from a commitment to a shared vision, fostering co-operative relationships and working within local capacity, credibility, and attentiveness to immediate and longer-term development goals. It uses Timor-Leste as its case study of a faith-based partnership in the development of the Instituto Católico para a Formação de Professores (ICFP) at Baucau. The people of what was then East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence in 1999 and the nation building, including reforming education, in this post-conflict small state began. The book reports how, through the commitment of the partners to capacity building and transforming education, East Timorese staff have assumed positions of responsibility in the Institute. ICFP has received very positive accreditation reports from the national authority in terms of its vision, courses, staff and student quality, and infrastructure. The significance of the challenge and what has been achieved in this teacher education institute is studied against the history of the East Timorese people and the educational policies of their former colonial powers. The history, scope and responsibilities of the partnership reveal how the partners were of one mind in terms of foundational values, institutional deliverables, infrastructure and sustainability for the Institute. This educational capacity building and its outcomes are testimony to the relevance of the development principles of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Accord as well as to the partners’ shared vision as faith-based people and organisations and their commitment to Catholic social teaching.

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