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Networked Governance of Freedom and Tyranny

Networked Governance of Freedom and Tyranny: Peace in Timor-Leste OPEN ACCESS

John Braithwaite
Hilary Charlesworth
Adérito Soares
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: ANU Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt24h2jz
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  • Book Info
    Networked Governance of Freedom and Tyranny
    Book Description:

    This book offers a new approach to the extraordinary story of Timor-Leste. The Indonesian invasion of the former Portuguese colony in 1975 was widely considered to have permanently crushed the Timorese independence movement. Initial international condemnation of the invasion was quickly replaced by widespread acceptance of Indonesian sovereignty. But inside Timor-Leste various resistance networks maintained their struggle, against all odds. Twenty-four years later, the Timorese were allowed to choose their political future and the new country of Timor-Leste came into being in 2002. This book presents freedom in Timor-Leste as an accomplishment of networked governance, arguing that weak networks are capable of controlling strong tyrannies. Yet, as events in Timor-Leste since independence show, the nodes of networks of freedom can themselves become nodes of tyranny. The authors argue that constant renewal of liberation networks is critical for peace with justice - feminist networks for the liberation of women, preventive diplomacy networks for liberation of victims of war, village development networks, civil society networks. Constant renewal of the separation of powers is also necessary. A case is made for a different way of seeing the separation of powers as constitutive of the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination. The book is also a critique of realism as a theory of international affairs and of the limits of reforming tyranny through the centralised agency of a state sovereign. Reversal of Indonesia's 1975 invasion of Timor-Leste was an implausible accomplishment. Among the things that achieved it was principled engagement with Indonesia and its democracy movement by the Timor resistance. Unprincipled engagement by Australia and the United States in particular allowed the 1975 invasion to occur. The book argues that when the international community regulates tyranny responsively, with principled engagement, there is hope for a domestic politics of nonviolent transformation for freedom and justice. John Braithwaite and Hilary Charlesworth work in the Centre for International Justice and Governance, Regulatory Institutions Network, The Australian National University. Adérito Soares is the Anti-Corruption Commissioner for Timor-Leste.

    eISBN: 978-1-921862-76-2
    Subjects: Political Science, History
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Table of Contents

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  1. Preface (pp. ix-xiv)
    John Braithwaite, Hilary Charlesworth and Adérito Soares
  2. This book starts with a political puzzle. When John Braithwaite and Hilary Charlesworth were young, Gough Whitlam was a breath of fresh air, a great political intellect and reformer in the long years of conservative rule in Australia. In 1972, he finally led a social-democratic party to power with a progressive political agenda. His government survived only three years. Social democrats look back on them as years of great reform when Australia withdrew from the Vietnam War, recognised China, resisted colonialism, handing independence to its own colony of Papua New Guinea, increased aid to the poor internationally and domestically, recognised...

  3. Knowledge of the ancient indigenous history of the island of Timor is limited. Prior to colonisation, Timor was divided into dozens of small kingdoms ruled by traditional kings called liuri. They were reliant on slash-and-burn agriculture. The Dawan or Atoni, who might have been the earliest settlers of the islands from mainland Asia, came to occupy the 16 local kingdoms (reinos) in the west of Portuguese Timor at the time of colonisation. The Belu or Tetun migrated to Timor in the fourteenth century, creating 46 tiny kingdoms in the east of the island by pushing the Dawan to the west...

  4. This chapter characterises the diplomacy of Australia and the West more broadly towards Timor as realist and unprincipled. Then it seeks to develop the road not taken as ‘principled engagement’ (Pedersen 2008). This alternative path is illustrated by the Obama–Clinton diplomacy towards Burma and Arab states. The chapter then argues that responsive regulatory theory is helpful in revealing the mechanisms that can give principled engagement both bite and integrity. Responsive regulatory theory seeks to transform institutions while minimising resort to either violence or stigmatisation of adversaries. Without being pacifist, responsive regulatory theory renders ‘violence as a last resort’ as...

  5. Indonesia’s Timor campaign started with a limited form of networked warfare in the latter months of 1975. The main objective of the cross-border military incursions in these months was to sustain an impression of internal conflict by Indonesian soldiers pretending to be Timorese opponents of Fretilin. Their orders were to create ‘terror and intimidation’. Small numbers of UDT and Apodeti refugees did accompany them in mainly non-fighting roles; they were networked with the Indonesian forces as ‘Partisans’. Actually, Indonesia had been giving military training to Apodeti in West Timor since December 1974 and had been conducting covert operations in East...

  6. This chapter describes how the clandestine movement worked inside Timor and across Indonesia. Its links to the Church and to a politics of nonviolence are then discussed. Then the chapter considers the links between the clandestine movement, the international solidarity movement and the diplomatic front to form a complex, partially integrated network.

    A revealing interview was with a Timor-Leste police officer who had served in the Indonesian police (then part of the military) in the 1980s and 1990s. His job in the clandestine network was to be Xanana Gusmão’s driver around Dili.¹ He could take the Commander-in-Chief to his home...

  7. The Santa Cruz massacre was a turning point in the Timorese struggle. In October 1991, a Portuguese parliamentary delegation, working with the resistance and accompanied by media observers, was due in Dili to see the situation on the ground as part of the tripartite process towards a permanent settlement between Indonesia, Portugal and the United Nations. The Indonesian military set themselves the objective of deterring the kind of demonstrations that had occurred with the Pope’s visit in 1989 in front of international media. A campaign of intimidation and harassment was directed at pro-independence groups.

    Independence advocates who the military suspected...

  8. This chapter tells the story of how the patient networked struggle for freedom finally benefited from an external shock that created its moment of opportunity to work not only for freedom for Timor but also for democracy for all Indonesia. It then tells the tale of how militias sponsored by the Indonesian military pushed back murderously but unsuccessfully against democracy.

    There were two schools of thought within the 1990s East Timor resistance on the potential for the demise of President Suharto. The dominant view was that if Suharto’s New Order was displaced in a wave of democratic reform, East Timor...

  9. This chapter diagnoses some successes and failures of the UN transitional government that was established in Timor. They lead us to contemplate how difficult it is for a peace operation to secure a democratic republic with a separation of powers. We conclude that beyond transition, the pursuit of governance that secures republican freedom from domination and women’s rights can keep approaching closer to its final destination, but can never reach it.

    INTERFET was an operational success. Much has been written about the splendid job INTERFET troops from 22 countries did in defusing many situations with disgruntled Indonesian soldiers and police...

  10. We have seen that INTERFET and its successors quickly, and with the loss of only a few lives, negotiated the complete evacuation of the Indonesian military from Timor-Leste, the disarming of militias and the cantonment of Falintil and secured the tensions across the West Timor border. More importantly for long-term security, Gusmão, Ramos-Horta and Alkatiri led diplomatic initiatives that forged productive, even warm, relationships with the leadership of Indonesia. They were from the day of their independence unfailingly forgiving of Indonesia and Indonesians.

    The security problems that were to emerge for Timor-Leste were not from Indonesia. They were internal. And...

  11. In its preamble, the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste recognises the rule of law and the separation of powers, which are themes of this book. It also recognises indigenous justice in Part I, Section 2, which says ‘4. The State shall recognize and value the norms and customs of Timor-Leste that are not contrary to the Constitution and to any legislation dealing specifically with customary law’. So indigenous justice is not an alternative to the rule of law in Timor-Leste; it is part of the rule of law.

    In this chapter, we consider how the United Nations and...

  12. The previous chapter dealt with transitional justice; this one deals with transitional social and economic structures after the conflict. Again we engage a networked governance and separations-of-powers lens upon the topic. We do not consider all the key economic development challenges—only those that illuminate the relationship between networked separations of powers and development.

    Timor-Leste is very poor, though much less poor than it was when it was part of Indonesia, when the gap between it and the rest of Indonesia in per-capita GDP was cavernous (and where its meagre income was disproportionately captured by immigrants from Java and other...

  13. We have argued that a theory of networked governance is a more useful lens through which to understand the independence of Timor-Leste than a realist one. Realism is based on assessments of national interest from the vantage point of those with political and military power; it discards the more diffuse evidence of what the weak are up to. A realist account of the creation of Timor-Leste is limited because it misses the significance of hope for freedom and the struggle for justice and the complex connections between local, regional and international people and groups working for Timor-Leste’s independence. The idea...

  14. This book has explored how realism was defeated by a politics of hope for Timor-Leste. It shows how sinews were given to that hope by demonstrating a credible capability for armed resistance. Yet real progress flowed from opting for a politics of nonviolence as the principal axis of struggle that utterly rejected terrorism and racial or religious stigmatisation of the enemy and embraced that enemy reintegratively in victory. Its internal history of greater success when it relied more heavily on networked nonviolence contributes to the growing literature showing that nonviolence has a better success rate than armed conflict. Chenoweth and...