Rural-Urban Inequalities and Migration in Timor-Leste

Andrew McWilliam

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Inequalities between urban and rural Timor-Leste have been a persistent feature of the social landscape from colonial times. Many of these disparities reflect the asymmetric political and economic dynamics that distinguish urban centres of power and financial influence, especially the capital Dili, from the scattered, impoverished countryside where near subsistence agriculture and inevitably limited state services prevail. Socially, too, under Portuguese rule, the old status distinctions between assimilados (civilizados; assimilated) and indígenas (natives) or worse (salvagem; savages) spoke to a perceived social gulf between advanced and educated urban modernity over and against the primitive and unenlightened rural hinterland (Roque 2012). If today these regimes of placemaking between cidade (town) and foho (country) have been reworked and revised under Indonesian occupation, and the subsequent achievement of independence, echoes of these discriminatory spatial categories are, nevertheless, reinscribed through differential access to economic opportunity and services of state.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationA New Era? Timor-Leste after the UN
    EditorsSue Ingram, Lia Kent and Andrew McWilliam
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherANU Press
    ISBN (Print)9781925022506
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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