Discussion paper


This paper presents four case studies that highlight how Indonesia and Timor-Leste remain intricately entwined at the social, political, cultural and personal levels.


Since 1999, when a United Nations (UN) transitional administration was established in the wake of the East Timorese vote for independence from Indonesia, the case of Timor-Leste has been a relative mainstay in research and policy debates on post-conflict reconstruction. Timor- Leste is often characterised by scholars as a ‘postconflict’ country and, as a consequence, compared to other countries that have recently emerged from political strife. While this focus is understandable, it has also meant that surprisingly little scholarly attention has focused on the connections, points of similarity and interrelations between Timor- Leste and its near neighbour and former occupier Indonesia. Only recently have researchers begun to explore the multiple dimensions of Timor-Leste/ Indonesian relations and unpack the relationship across a range of disciplines.

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