Studies in National and International Development


National and International Development

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Title:  Landscapes of Development: Canadian Development Thought and Indonesian-Occupied East Timor, 1975-99

Date: January 23, 2020
Venue: Mackintosh-Corry Hall, D214
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Speaker:  David Webster, Bishop's University

Asia’s poorest country today is Timor-Leste (East Timor). Its development is heavily influenced by the historical legacies of Indonesian occupation, when scholars of development highlighted its landscape as a reason the country could never be economically viable, while independence activists stressed a history of agrarian self-reliance. Clashing images of the land shaped debates over the country’s political future. Canadian government interest concentrated on possible development work, but humanitarian debates were inevitably entangled with political struggle in both Timor and Ottawa.



David Webster, Bishop's University

David Webster is a professor of history and global studies at Bishop's University. He is author of Fire and the Full Moon: Canada and Indonesia, 1975-99 and editor of Flowers in the Wall: Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Melanesia. Most recently he co-edited A Samaritan State Revisited: Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid. This paper draws from his forthcoming book Challenge the Strong Wind: Canada and East Timor, 1975-99.