Evaluating the Legacy of State-building in Timor-Leste

Joanne Wallis, Guteriano Neves

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    With the benefit of almost 20 years of hindsight, in this article we evaluate the legacy of state-building in Timor-Leste. We find that much of the academic critique of the state-building mission has proven to be largely accurate: political and economic development has indeed been challenged by the legacy of key decisions made during the early state-building process. First, the focus on centralised state institutions has led to the underdevelopment of administrative, political, and economic decentraliza-tion. Second, the partisan nature of the constitution-making process has facilitated the continued concentration of political and economic power in the hands of certain elites. Third, the ambiguous—and at times conflictual—division of powers between state institutions has facilitated the emergence of political clientelism and undermined broad-based economic diversification and development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-40
    JournalAsian Journal of Peacebuilding
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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