Accepted paper:

Local governance complexes in state formation in Timor‑Leste

Author:

Kelly Silva (Universidade de Brasília)

Paper short abstract:

The ways Timor-Leste state has dealt with elements of local governance complexes - called kultura - is the concern of this paper. Based on a literature review, I argue that state building in Timor-Leste entails recognition and parasitical uses of kultura.

Paper long abstract:

The ways Timor-Leste state has dealt with elements of local governance complexes - called kultura - is the main concern of this paper. Based on a literature review about the organizational dynamics of local power, I argue that state building in Timor-Leste entails recognition and parasitical uses of kultura and has turned it into means for pacifying, integrating and monopolizing power. At the same time, kultura is used to transpose and internalize modern practices and projects of social organization and subjectivation. The criticism leveled at the politicization of local elections is considered an expression of agency and resistance on the part of sectors of the rural populations to projects entailing the political co-optation of their social reproduction dynamics by the Dili-based national elites.

panel P28
The parasitical interplay of state formation: governance and dynamics of power among local, national and global institutions in Timor-Leste