In Search of White Elephants: The Political Economy of Resource Income Expenditure in East Timor

Scambary, J 2015, 'In Search of White Elephants: The Political Economy of Resource Income Expenditure in East Timor', Critical Asian Studies, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 283-308.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title In Search of White Elephants: The Political Economy of Resource Income Expenditure in East Timor
Author(s) Scambary, J
Year 2015
Journal name Critical Asian Studies
Volume number 47
Issue number 2
Start page 283
End page 308
Total pages 26
Publisher Routledge
Abstract A little more than a decade after independence, the small island state of East Timor is exhibiting the hallmarks of a neo-patrimonialist state. Since 2008, utilizing its considerable oil reserves, the government has embarked on a major infrastructure development program. However, despite a complex regulatory regime to safeguard the quality and transparency of spending, these systems have been routinely bypassed by executive-style decision making and a variety of informal and sub-legal devices. Public funds have been channeled to clientelist networks via often controversial infrastructure projects or state employment. This article details the emergence of this state and explains how a command style of government and complex systems of reciprocal obligation embedded in an array of parallel, informal networks have undermined the foundations of a Weberian rational-legal state, with critical consequences for development and stability.
Subject Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
Keyword(s) clientelism
East Timor
neo-patrimonialism
political economy
resource income expenditures
Timor-Leste
DOI - identifier 10.1080/14672715.2015.1041281
Copyright notice © 2015 BCAS, Inc.
ISSN 1467-2715
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