Why nationalism did not emerge earlier in Timor-Leste: customary cultures confront globalising modernism

James, P and Grenfell, D 2018, 'Why nationalism did not emerge earlier in Timor-Leste: customary cultures confront globalising modernism', Postcolonial Studies, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 391-413.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Why nationalism did not emerge earlier in Timor-Leste: customary cultures confront globalising modernism
Author(s) James, P
Grenfell, D
Year 2018
Journal name Postcolonial Studies
Volume number 21
Issue number 4
Start page 391
End page 413
Total pages 23
Publisher Routledge
Abstract This article explores Timor-Leste�s long history of colonial encounters with modernity and globalisation. Over a couple of centuries these forces contributed to creating a particular form of customary nationhood that differed from other nations which, on the face it, appear to have parallel histories. More than that, a sense of nationhood came later in Timor-Leste than in most colonial and postcolonial settings. Through an analysis of Timor�s predominantly customary forms of sociality and organisation, this article explores why political nationalism came so late to a territory that like many other colonies had an established generalising cultural identity and was part of a global history of colonisation. Drawing in issues such as Timor�s place in global history, conflict, resistance, Indigenous power, the unevenness of Portuguese colonisation, rejection of the homogenising process and the naming of the Timorese people, it is concluded that the continuing depth of customary-traditional cultures and the nature of the colonial experience cut against the early formation of a sense of nationhood, even as this became one of the strengths in the Timorese fight against colonial oppression.
Subject Social Change
Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
Keyword(s) Colonialism
Global history
Globalisation
Identity
Modernity/ modernism
Nation
Nationalism
Timor
Timor-Leste
DOI - identifier 10.1080/13688790.2018.1544109
Copyright notice © 2018 The Institute of Postcolonial Studies.
ISSN 1368-8790
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