Ambivalent ‘Indigeneities’ in an independent Timor-Leste: Between the customary and national governance of resources

Lisa Palmer, Andrew McWilliam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Successfully achieving nationhood under the banner of what Anderson (2003) terms ‘aggregated nativeness’, Timor-Leste is southeast Asia's newest nation. Yet as Anderson asserts ‘for the culture of nationalism … survival cannot be enough’ (2003: 184) and as with all other nationalisms, Timor-Leste's nation-making agenda is now engaged in the search for inclusive futures for its citizens. In this paper, we examine the extent to which Timor-Leste's independence trajectory has included the active involvement of Indigenous Timorese traditions, practices and priorities in the governance of the new nation. By theorising these shifting ‘Indigenous’ ontologies and examining the ways in which they correspond (or not) with the tensions evident in more internationalised approaches to Indigeneity, we illuminate the socio-political challenge of carving out spaces for plural identities and meaningfully diverse economic futures in Timor-Leste. We argue that the term ‘Indigenous’ is not (yet) a term mobilised as a vehicle for the politics of recognition at either national or local levels of civil society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)265-275
    JournalAsia Pacific Viewpoint
    Volume59
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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