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Introduction: The political dynamics and social effects of megaproject development

Bovensiepen, Judith M., Meitzner Yoder, Laura (2018) Introduction: The political dynamics and social effects of megaproject development. Special Issue of The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology: Megaprojects and National Development Models in Timor-Leste, 19 (5). pp. 381-394. ISSN 1444-2213. (KAR id:68483)


This special issue examines the political context and social impacts of plans for two statesponsored

megaprojects in Timor-Leste: the Special Zone of Social Market Economy

(ZEESM) in the Oecusse enclave, and the Tasi Mane Project stretching along the

south coast. Tracing debates about national development models in Timor-Leste back

to the Indonesian occupation and transition period to independence, this

Introduction situates these projects within contemporary debates about development.

We pay special attention to two key aspects: how megaprojects transform people’s

relations with the land, a vital source of livelihoods and cultural meaning; and how

different ethnolinguistic groups in Timor-Leste are adapting local practice to

accommodate change. We conclude by highlighting how megaprojects reflect and

affect aspects of life beyond economic development: governance practice, assertion of

sovereignty, sensory losses and identity, ritual adaptations and aspirations for the


Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: megaprojects; national development models; resource sovereignty; land conflict; social change
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Judith Bovensiepen
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2018 18:10 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 13:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Bovensiepen, Judith M..

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