Conference to focus on rebuilding East Timor 


Charles Darwin University, in conjunction with the Australian National University and the Timor Institute of Development Studies, will host an international conference in early February 2008 which will examine the rebuilding process in East Timor.

The conference entitled Democratic Governance in Timor Leste: Reconciling the Local and the National will be held on 7 and 8 February at CDU’s Casuarina campus.

The conference follows the successful one-day symposium in November 2006 and the subsequent book The Crisis in Timor-Leste: Understanding the Past, Imagining the Future.

Conference convenor, Associate Professor David Mearns said the 2008 conference would focus on how the process of “nation building” might be envisaged given the international, national and local expectations that press upon the Timor Leste Government and parliament.

“The aim of this conference is to ask speakers to examine critically the emerging relations between the various levels of social, institutional and organisational practice that confront the politicians and ‘civil society’ during this critical phase of the country’s development,” he said.

“We are looking to address issues such as what space currently exists for the genuine expression and achievement of the citizens’ aspirations, and how might the situation be improved?”

The conference will be divided into four, half-day panels each led by a keynote speaker who will address specific aspects of the dynamic relations between central state and local governance systems in a new nation. The panels will cover a variety of themes essential to the rebuilding process in East Timor.

Visit the conference website at: