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EAST TIMOR WAS forcibly incorporated into Indonesia in 1975 and managed, through a confluence of circumstances that was at once remarkable and yet another example of a suppressed people snapping back like bent but unbroken twigs (to use Isaiah Berlin’s phrase), to become independent almost twenty-five years later. Now the territory, poised on the edge of statehood, is undergoing transition, but also flux and confusion. At the time of writing the United Nations Transitional Authority for East Timor (UNTAET) is effectively the Government of

in Human rights and the borders of suffering
The promotion of human rights in international politics

This book argues for greater openness in the ways we approach human rights and international rights promotion, and in so doing brings some new understanding to old debates. Starting with the realities of abuse rather than the liberal architecture of rights, it casts human rights as a language for probing the political dimensions of suffering. Seen in this context, the predominant Western models of right generate a substantial but also problematic and not always emancipatory array of practices. These models are far from answering the questions about the nature of political community that are raised by the systemic infliction of suffering. Rather than a simple message from ‘us’ to ‘them’, then, rights promotion is a long and difficult conversation about the relationship between political organisations and suffering. Three case studies are explored: the Tiananmen Square massacre, East Timor's violent modern history and the circumstances of indigenous Australians. The purpose of these discussions is not to elaborate on a new theory of rights, but to work towards rights practices that are more responsive to the spectrum of injury that we inflict and endure.

. Part II is a consideration of three case studies: the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989; East Timor; and Australian Aboriginal health. The case studies were not chosen as examplary of the arguments put forward here – indeed in many respects they challenge those arguments. All, in their own way, are high-profile issues internationally or on a national stage, referred to repeatedly by the media in terms ranging from bell-like clarity (Tiananmen) to moral ambiguity and political confusion (Indigenous Australians). All occupy public as well as specialist imaginations

in Human rights and the borders of suffering

government in the heart of the state, seems particularly suited to those models. The question of notions of ‘human’ rights versus citizen’s rights is also touched on briefly here. The second case study discusses briefly the last twenty-five years of East Timor’s history, focusing on the context of Indonesia’s violent occupation and the forced pace of nation building, and touching on some of the issues of peace builidng in the new state. The discussion underlines the persistent failure to engage with the grassroots dynamics of circumstances in

in Human rights and the borders of suffering

Kurds of northern Iraq (1991), Somalia (1992), Bosnia (1992–95), the intervention of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) in Liberia (1990–96), the US-led intervention in Haiti (1994), French-led forces in Rwanda (1994), NATO’s intervention in Serbia and Kosovo (1999) and the Australian-led intervention in East Timor (1999). In Rwanda effective French intervention came very late, following three months of genocidal massacre by the Hutus of

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century

wake of the unipolar moment, a US-led coalition had effectively sidestepped the UN and tried to impose its unilateral decision. Yet is this all that happened? In the immediate aftermath, the UN was called upon to play a role in domestic governance. Why else would the UN be asked to coordinate the post-bombing interim administration in Kosovo? 8 In East Timor, following the UN-organised ballot and the

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
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working human rights practice may essentially operate as a way of recognising others as interlocutors, acknowledging interconnections and common vulnerabilites across divisions that do not go away. Such processes are not particularly a matter of sentiment. All the case studies, in one way or another, turn on this point. Progress for East Timor, for example, requires of the international financial, peace-building and aid community the mundane but difficult process of taking the time to work on the ground with the East Timorese, of drawing on accumulated knowledge of

in Human rights and the borders of suffering
Adjusting to life after the Cold War

most vividly in the cases of Kosovo and East Timor, a trajectory of change was initiated in the 1990s, with existing taboos breached, old convictions revised and the role played by military force becoming a more routine and uncontroversial aspect of German security policy. Political catharsis and the Gulf War The massive international effort to halt Saddam Hussein has suddenly confronted West Germans with all their deeply confused emotions about the role of their country’s military.5 Longhurst, Germany and the use of force.qxd 30/06/2004 16:25 Page 57 Adjusting

in Germany and the use of force
Still unique or just one in the crowd?

protesters in Dili, East Timor, in November 1991, Portugal (the former colonial power in East Timor) has blocked the conclusion of a revised EC–ASEAN cooperation agreement. With agreement on East Timorese autonomy and elections in Indonesia, the EU–ASEAN relationship could be revitalised. To that end, the Union has minimized the Burmese issue. It agreed to resume ministerial meetings with ASEAN – suspended in 1997 when Burma joined ASEAN – even if they include Burma. 72 EUD4 10/28/03 2:41 PM Page 73 The ACP in the EU’s regional relationships In 1996, the Union also

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yet possesses – functions as the authoritative barometer of full recognition and hence inclusion in the international society of states. Clearly, great powers matter. To that end, Milena Sterio has proposed a ‘great power theory’ of self-determination to explain why East Timor and South Sudan became sovereign, but Chechnya, South Ossetia and Abkhazia (to which we add Taiwan and

in Recognition and Global Politics