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Accepted Paper:

Reaping The Demographic Dividend: ‘Reproductive Developmentality’ In Post-conflict Timor-leste  
Laura Burke (University of Sussex)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines ‘reproductive developmentality’ in the context of Timor-Leste’s rapid population growth which followed independence. It considers the multiple approaches to reproduction and population which shape ideas about producing the next generation in the wake of conflict and colonialism.

Paper long abstract:

Timor-Leste experienced a significant loss of life under a 24-year Indonesian occupation. However, since independence, the country has experienced rapid population growth due to very high fertility rates. Over 70% of Timorese citizens are currently under 35 years old. Development discourse around the 'demographic dividend’ and ‘human capital' envision the transformation of a youthful post-conflict population into a valuable national resource. Based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork, this paper explores how local perceptions about creating future generations are embedded in both experiences of past conflict, colonial practices and neo-colonial development practices. It further considers how multiple approaches to reproduction are embedded in a history of colonial violence and capitalist visions for the future.

Panel P102b
Uncanny Colonial Reanimations: Ethnographies of post-colonial population control and resilient alternatives
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -