Past, Present and Future: Why History Matters Discussant Paper Assoc Prof Michael Leach Faculty of Life and Social Sciences Swinburne University of Technology Australia ANU Timor-Leste Update, 28-29 November 2013 1
The Politics of History History important: corollary is that very centrality of history makes it a powerful source of political legitimacy And therefore, of conflict Contests over ‘ownership’ of resistance history; inclusion /exclusion from central narrative of national liberation Constitution: focuses heavily on valorisation of the resistance FALINTIL, Clandestine, Diplomatic Front, Catholic Church History and memory important aspect of nation-building Difficulties drafting national history curriculum post 1974: divisions from 1974-5, 1999, 2006. Role of history and memory in democratic consolidation? O’Donnell (1988): democratic consolidation favoured if negative popular experiences of repression / economic failure under previous regime. “inverse legitimation”: greater public resistance to attempts to overthrow the democratic regime, reluctance by political elites favouring authoritarianism
The Politics of Recognition Politics of recognition Perceived ‘disrespect’ to a group’s identity and values, or perceived ‘misrecognition’ of its contribution to widely shared social goals (such as national independence) may create conditions for political conflict (Honneth 1995). ‘Struggles for recognition’ to gain acknowledgement of contributions to the common project of Timorese nationalism Factor in 2006 political-military crisis, intergenerational tensions since independence, intra-elite conflict, political campaigns Anti-system actors deny recognition of 2002 Constitution e.g. CPD-RDTL Constituencies: making recognition style claims against the state Veterans; Petitioners; IDPs; Clandestines; Youth; Traditionalists; Catholic Church ; Victims Faultlines: Intergenerational; secular/ religious; modern/ traditional ; Internal/ diaspora ; CNRT v Fretilin ; 1974-5; Urban-Rural ; (East-West)
The Political Economy of Recognition 37,000 Registered veterans 67m pensions annual, one-offs 62m (La’o Hamutuk) Recipients of contracts under Infrastructure, referendum packages: Emergency projects to vets $78m 2010-12, to increase 4% annually 5.8% of 2013 budget, exceeding security sector, health Does not include civilian / clandestine list; Petitioners, IDPs AMP/ BGK introduced other important pensions: Elderly, Single mothers Veteran payments important, high level of popular legitimacy Could a social security policy become political patronage network? Largest payments distributed June 2012: “…these warriors, genuine heroes of our independence, deserve attention from the state, but we worry when this rectification is used to pay for political party promises.” La’o Hamutuk "Tinted Windows Veterans" Xanana Gusmao April 2013 Other groups less deserving than veterans have benefitted from infrastructure contracts Are there attempts to mimic recognition claims as means of rent-seeking? And more malicious forms, e.g. capacity to cause unrest?
Mauk Moruk Paulino ‘Mauk Moruk’ Gama: L7’s brother, linked with Sagrada Familia, Abilio Araujo Moruk publicly revives split within FALINTIL early 1980s Gusmao first seeks to restructure FALINTIL as military wing of non-partisan, pluralist nationalist front, rejected Marxism, move to political rather than military strategy Moruk among FALINTIL group then operating independently, opposed new direction, Kilik and Moruk demoted Raised ‘Hudi Laran reaction’ 1984 attempted internal coup attempt against XG’s leadership in 1984 Subsequent death of Kilik in combat with Indonesians, Moruk surrendered In Holland, returns to Dili, called for ‘revolution’ and claimed taught XG guerrilla warfare, claimed 800 followers Widespread relief in Dili as leadership, including FRETILIN backed XG, no return to 2006 Motivation – veterans money?
Not a failed or failing state… Political system proving durable Avoided cycle of internal repression and resistance even 2006 crisis had constitutional resolution 2013 has seen rapprochement rather than increased conflict No military ‘tutelary role’ qua “guarantors” of the constitution. Although confusion policing v military roles in law and order military police commanders, ‘overstepping the mark’ No “reserved domains” of policy beyond elected government Some argue aspects of Constitution are in this category Limited parliamentary oversight of some key budget elements No coup, insurrection, separatist politics Groups challenging authority of state exist, but relatively minor (CPD-RDTL), some of these elements incorporated over time (UNDERTIM) Integrationist minority incorporated into political system Democracy ‘only game in town’
Democratic Consolidation: Strengths • Leadership • Strong leadership group, competent opposition, increasing signs of rapprochement two major political forces: Xanana Gusmao & FRETILIN • Role of President clear in these developments, moderation of political conflict (O’Donnell 1988, Valenzuela 1990) • Political System • Semi-presidential systems working, suits Timor-Leste • Voters have decided on independent Presidents • Complementary authorities with different functions / types of power • reflects diarchic conceptions of authority familiar to Timorese communities, greater capacity for inclusion, no winner-takes-all • Free press, chaotic but unregulated, few limits on party registration, freedom of assembly, relatively active civil society • Proportional Electoral system • Forces alliance making, inclusion • High level women’s representation 38.5%
Democratic Consolidation: Challenges How durable will current stability prove Finite petroleum resources; demographic bulge of young Timorese entering labour market; critical political leadership transition ahead Transparency Current development approach heavily dependent on successful anti-corruption & audit measures State capacity, government effectiveness outside Dili Judicial functioning , army role in civilian policing, police reform process incomplete, low levels of institutional performance in public service Roads, creating a national market and economy Avoiding “Institutional Ritualism” (Soares) inclination to form new agencies rather than address actual problems Partly encouraged by donors