Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor by Douglas Kammen (review)

Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor by Douglas Kammen (review) Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, No. 2 (2016), pp. 330–32 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2m © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor. By Douglas Kammen. Singapore: NUS Press, 2015. Softcover: 231pp. Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor examines the pattern of recurring violence in the district of Maubara in Timor-Leste. Dissatisfied with conventional macro-level analytical approaches, Douglas Kammen employs a microhistorical analysis of the interactions among local stakeholders and their relationship with external actors. Kammen emphasizes that “a microhistorical approach to the violence in a single locality serves to foreground how local history and meaning informed and were transformed by the violence as local and national actors responded over the ensuing years to independence, reconstruction, and the new realities facing postindependence Timor-Leste” (p. 144). The book takes two murder cases in Maubara — in 1975 and in 1999 — as points of departure for the investigation, which goes back to the eighteenth century and debunks a myth about the contested origins of ruling families there. Kammen demonstrates that “local patterns of alliance and rivalry have remained remarkably constant across time and continue to exert strong influences 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

Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor by Douglas Kammen (review)

Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor by Douglas Kammen (review)


Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, No. 2 (2016), pp. 330–32 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2m © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor. By Douglas Kammen. Singapore: NUS Press, 2015. Softcover: 231pp. Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor examines the pattern of recurring violence in the district of Maubara in Timor-Leste. Dissatisfied with conventional macro-level analytical approaches, Douglas Kammen employs a microhistorical analysis of the interactions among local stakeholders and their relationship with external actors. Kammen emphasizes that “a microhistorical approach to the violence in a single locality serves to foreground how local history and meaning informed and were transformed by the violence as local and national actors responded over the ensuing years to independence, reconstruction, and the new realities facing postindependence Timor-Leste” (p. 144). The book takes two murder cases in Maubara — in 1975 and in 1999 — as points of departure for the investigation, which goes back to the eighteenth century and debunks a myth about the contested origins of ruling families there. Kammen demonstrates that “local patterns of alliance and rivalry have remained remarkably constant across time and continue to exert strong influences on the positions that individuals, extended families, and entire hamlets adopt” (p. 19). The author’s assessment of this narrow investigation carries a broader implication to the existing knowledge about the pattern of recurring violence. That is, violence will recur as a result of a synthesis between unsettled grievances and opportunities for revenge. As illustrated in the book, unsettled grievances are the product of a complex interaction of various factors, including both historical and current animosities involving (inter)personal,...
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Publisher
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. 330–32 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2m © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor. By Douglas Kammen. Singapore: NUS Press, 2015. Softcover: 231pp. Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor examines the pattern of recurring violence in the district of Maubara in Timor-Leste. Dissatisfied with conventional macro-level analytical approaches, Douglas Kammen employs a microhistorical analysis of the interactions among local stakeholders and their relationship with external actors. Kammen emphasizes that “a microhistorical approach to the violence in a single locality serves to foreground how local history and meaning informed and were transformed by the violence as local and national actors responded over the ensuing years to independence, reconstruction, and the new realities facing postindependence Timor-Leste” (p. 144). The book takes two murder cases in Maubara — in 1975 and in 1999 — as points of departure for the investigation, which goes back to the eighteenth century and debunks a myth about the contested origins of ruling families there. Kammen demonstrates that “local patterns of alliance and rivalry have remained remarkably constant across time and continue to exert strong influences

Journal

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

Published: Aug 13, 2016

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