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Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-presidentialism and Democratization by Lydia M. Beuman (review)

Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-presidentialism and Democratization by Lydia M. Beuman... Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, No. 2 (2016), pp. 318–20 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2i © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-presidentialism and Democratization. By Lydia M. Beuman. Abingdon, Oxon.: Routledge, 2016. Hardcover: 141pp. After the 1999 referendum which led to its independence from Indonesia, East Timor underwent a unique political process. The United Nations (UN) transitional authority was given unprecedented powers to lay the foundations for a democratic polity. Disregarding academic wisdom on pre-requisites for democratic survival encapsulated in Juan Linz’s dictum “no state, no Rechtsstaat, no democracy” (1991), Timor-Leste embarked on a simultaneous process of state-building and democracy-building. In this context, the Constituent Assembly adopted a government system not found elsewhere in Southeast Asia, but sometimes found in young democracies in other parts of the world: semi-presidentialism, a system in which a popularly elected fixed-term president exists alongside a prime minister and cabinet officials who are collectively responsible to the legislature. Lydia M. Beuman presents a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the formative years of this innovative experience. Based on her doctoral thesis, the book attains the highest standards of academic proficiency: it includes a comprehensive http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-presidentialism and Democratization by Lydia M. Beuman (review)

Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-presidentialism and Democratization by Lydia M. Beuman (review)


Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, No. 2 (2016), pp. 318–20 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2i © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-presidentialism and Democratization. By Lydia M. Beuman. Abingdon, Oxon.: Routledge, 2016. Hardcover: 141pp. After the 1999 referendum which led to its independence from Indonesia, East Timor underwent a unique political process. The United Nations (UN) transitional authority was given unprecedented powers to lay the foundations for a democratic polity. Disregarding academic wisdom on pre-requisites for democratic survival encapsulated in Juan Linz’s dictum “no state, no Rechtsstaat, no democracy” (1991), Timor-Leste embarked on a simultaneous process of state-building and democracy-building. In this context, the Constituent Assembly adopted a government system not found elsewhere in Southeast Asia, but sometimes found in young democracies in other parts of the world: semi-presidentialism, a system in which a popularly elected fixed-term president exists alongside a prime minister and cabinet officials who are collectively responsible to the legislature. Lydia M. Beuman presents a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the formative years of this innovative experience. Based on her doctoral thesis, the book attains the highest standards of academic proficiency: it includes a comprehensive survey of the existing literature; is grounded in fieldwork during which the author engaged with all the relevant actors; and provides a cogent analytical framework. The book begins with an introduction to the theoretical debates on the relationship between semi-presidentialism and democracy, followed by a characterization of the Timorese case, positing that it falls into the “premier-presidential” sub-type of semi-presidentialism,...
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Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
ISSN
1793-284X
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Abstract

Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, No. 2 (2016), pp. 318–20 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2i © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-presidentialism and Democratization. By Lydia M. Beuman. Abingdon, Oxon.: Routledge, 2016. Hardcover: 141pp. After the 1999 referendum which led to its independence from Indonesia, East Timor underwent a unique political process. The United Nations (UN) transitional authority was given unprecedented powers to lay the foundations for a democratic polity. Disregarding academic wisdom on pre-requisites for democratic survival encapsulated in Juan Linz’s dictum “no state, no Rechtsstaat, no democracy” (1991), Timor-Leste embarked on a simultaneous process of state-building and democracy-building. In this context, the Constituent Assembly adopted a government system not found elsewhere in Southeast Asia, but sometimes found in young democracies in other parts of the world: semi-presidentialism, a system in which a popularly elected fixed-term president exists alongside a prime minister and cabinet officials who are collectively responsible to the legislature. Lydia M. Beuman presents a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the formative years of this innovative experience. Based on her doctoral thesis, the book attains the highest standards of academic proficiency: it includes a comprehensive

Journal

Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: Aug 13, 2016

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