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Title: State building at the expense of political community? : the construction of citizenship in the urban space of Dili, Timor Leste
Author: Valenti, A. V. C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 2689
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Despite an increasing number of international state building interventions in postconflict countries in the past decade, the prolonged economic, social and political issues plaguing the development of these countries into peaceful states has brought increased attention on the inability of the institutions carrying out these interventions to learn from their past mistakes. The following research contends that one of the main issues at the root of such failures, lies in international state building interventions framing the (re)construction of state institutions around the notion of an ideal-type state that is ahistorical and inherently detached from the society it is meant to govern. Instead, this research argues, state building and political community construction are two distinct processes, which have historically come to be contingent upon each other with the territorialisation of the state; as such, for state building to be successful, it needs to focus on the establishment of state institutions capable of promoting, within the territory, a sense of citizenship that will facilitate the emergence of a political community upon which state sovereignty and legitimacy rest. In this light, using the case study of Dili, the capital of Timor Leste, this research seeks to demonstrate that urban spaces are particularly pertinent contexts to explore the relationship between state building and political community. It begins by outlining the impact of the state building process on the shaping of state institutions, between 1999 and 2012, and the type of policies emerging from such institutions. It then moves on to the analysis of social cohesion in two case study areas, highlighting how the implementation of state policies on widely diverse urban fabrics - shaped by different economic, social, political and historical dynamics - results in different scales and spaces of polity construction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available