Book Launch: Conflict, Identity, & State Formation in East Timor 2000 - 2017

James Scambary

Event details

SSGM Book Launch

Date & time

Tuesday 05 November 2019


Lecture Theatre 2, Hedley Bull Building (130),Garran Road, ANU


James Scambary and Gordon Peake



The ANU Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) is pleased to host the launch of DPA PhD graduate James Scambary’s book; Conflict, Identity, and State Formation in East Timor 2000 – 2017.

This will be an ‘ in-conversation-style’ launch led by James’ former supervisor Gordon Peake in Hedley Bull Lecture Theatre 2, and will be followed by drinks in the Hedley Bull Foyer from 5pm.

In Conflict, Identity, and State Formation in East Timor 2000-2017, James analyses the complex interplay between local and national level conflict and politics in the independence period. Communal conflict, often enacted by a variety of informal groups such as gangs and martial arts groups, has been a constant feature of East Timor’s post-independence landscape. A focus on statebuilding, however, in academic discourse has largely overlooked this conflict, and the informal networks that drive Timorese politics and society. Drawing on over a decade of fieldwork, Scambary documents the range of different cultural and historical dynamics and identities that drive conflict, and by which local conflicts and non-state actors became linked to national conflict, and laid the foundations of a clientelist state.

James Scambary is a Lecturer in International Business at RMIT University.

Gordon Peake is a Visitor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance, ANU. Gordon’s book, Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles & Secrets from Timor-Leste was winner of the 2014 ACT Book of the Year and People’s Choice awards.

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