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East Timor’s Fragile Statehood


  • Manuel Schmitz


The Failed States Index 2007 ranked East Timor, or Timor-Leste, place 20 of 177 states worldwide. Thus the Southeast Asian state is considered to be in serious danger of becoming a failed state. The rating is based on data sets from May to December 2006. Since Mid-2007 the country is governed by the duo Ramos-Horta/Gusmao. The Fretelin party, blamed by the Western press for the crisis, was voted out of power. Against this background this articles examines if there are any signs that the new government could end the enduring crisis. What are the chances that East Timor will improve its ratings in the Failed States Index 2008? To answer this question the nine problem areas highlighted in the index will be analysed in search for progress. These are: group conflicts, Internally Displaced Persons, delegitimization of the state, factionalized elites, security apparatus, external intervention, economic decline, deterioration of public services, demographic pressures. Although in nearly all of these categories progress has been made, the country is still far from being stable.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Schmitz, 2007. "East Timor’s Fragile Statehood," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 26(6), pages 67-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:15:y:2007:i:6:p:67-78

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