Reconstituting the nation: Reconciliation and national consciousness in Timor-Leste

Grenfell, D 2006, 'Reconstituting the nation: Reconciliation and national consciousness in Timor-Leste', Occasional Series in Criminal Justice and International Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 18-33.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Reconstituting the nation: Reconciliation and national consciousness in Timor-Leste
Author(s) Grenfell, D
Year 2006
Journal name Occasional Series in Criminal Justice and International Studies
Volume number 1
Issue number 1
Start page 18
End page 33
Total pages 16
Publisher RMIT Publishing
Abstract In December 2005, the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) in Timor-Leste was finally closed by President Xanana Gusmão. Over the nearly four years of its duration, CAVR initiated a series of processes in an attempt to confront the horrific human rights abuses that occurred in the territory prior to and during the Indonesian occupation of 1975-1999. Pursued through community hearings and truth seeking, CAVR's stated objectives included the reintegration of perpetrators of violence and the restoring of dignity to victims. Clarifying the past and bringing victims and perpetrators together are amongst the more obvious ways in which such a commission can produce stability and social integration in a post-conflict society. Truth and Reconciliation processes also have socially integrative effects, in some ways distinct to a period of post-conflict reconstruction, that can be understood as originating in the practice of drawing people into a nationally constituted program. By examining the operations of CAVR, and drawing on thinkers of nationalism such as Benedict Anderson, a two-fold argument is made. Firstly, this paper argues that reconciliation processes can give rise to forms of temporal integration that are central in terms of shaping a national consciousness. Upon this, an argument is then made that this form of temporality is carried not just at the level of the abstract and disembodied, but also through the reframing of social relations constituted through face-to-face relations.
Subject Political Science not elsewhere classified
Race and Ethnic Relations
Keyword(s) Timor-Leste
nationalism
reconciliation
temporality
nation-formation
Copyright notice © Damian Grenfell, 2006
ISSN 1834-3759
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