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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55558
Doc. No:TL25512
Call number:‭3332534‬
Main Entry:Awet Tewelde Weldemichael
Title & Author:The Eritrean and East Timorese liberation movements: Toward a comparative study of their grand strategiesAwet Tewelde Weldemichael
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:540
Abstract:When European powers lost their hold over their empires, most colonies gained independence. This was not the case for Italy's Eritrea and Portugal's Timor, however. Both became subject to secondary colonialisms when Ethiopia annexed Eritrea, and Indonesia invaded and occupied East Timor. These unique but related histories provide a fascinating case study of intra-regional colonialism, the liberation struggles they engendered and the states they gave birth to. The nationalists in the two territories waged peoples' wars and eventually asserted their independence. While the roots of their liberation movements were grounded in similar contexts, the process of their struggles and their post-liberation governments are dramatically divergent. This dissertation seeks to unpack the global, regional and domestic structural and non-structural factors that led to such differences through a contrast-oriented comparative approach. In the face of more powerful imperial military forces, Eritrean and East Timorese strategic options were further limited by the persistent hostility of the superpowers, international neglect, and heavy-handedness of the Ethiopian and Indonesian rules. The Eritrean liberation movement managed to overcome the Ethiopian military in the battlefield due to geographic and demographic factors and a reliable arms supply. East Timorese nationalists lacked these relative advantages, however. Prevented from pursuing a military-centered strategy, they waged their case diplomatically (without laying down their arms) and ultimately broke the Indonesian government's resolve to prolong the occupation. Historically-contingent practices of these grand strategies shaped the political systems in independent Eritrea and East Timor. I document how secrecy and military discipline became deeply ingrained among Eritreans during their struggle. After independence, the government continued these habits to institute a monistic political system. Nevertheless, politically monistic Eritrea is known for its internal stability and impressive reconstruction programs. By contrast, failing to indoctrinate and discipline all the elements of the resistance, the East Timorese independence movement had to settle for harmonizing its specialized fronts. While the international community and the donor-based economy bound them to their democratic ideals, pragmatic harmony gave way to fierce political contestation. This lack of a power center and experience in governance led to a precarious start for the East Timorese state, which now suffers from loose control, shaky institutions, and arrested reconstruction.
Subject:Social sciences; East Timor; Eritrea; Grand strategies; Liberation movements; African history; History; Modern history; Political science; 0615:Political science; 0332:History; 0582:Modern history; 0331:African history
Added Entry:E. A. R. Alpers, Geoffrey
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles