UKNA lunch lecture

State building, land tenure and urban development in Dili, Timor-Leste

A lecture by Bernardo Almeida (Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University Law School)

Please note: as a lunch will be provided, registration is required.

In the last two decades a lot has changed in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. After centuries of Portuguese colonialism and 24 years of Indonesian occupation, the Timorese were finally able to vote for their independence in 1999. In retaliation, the Indonesian army destroyed most of the country’s infrastructure, especially in Dili, during their violent withdraw. Since then, the reconstruction of the country in general, and the capital Dili in particular, has been a mirror of the social, legal and economic problems of the country, as well as the political influences and views of modernity held by the Timorese elites. Resettlement of refugees and IDPs, land tenure uncertainty and disputes, urban growth, natural resources windfall, patronage and clientelism, and high-modernism views have shaped the ways and forms in which the city has been reconstructed. Through a number of different case studies, this presentation debates how the interaction of these different elements plays out in reconstruction and urban change in a context such as the Timorese.

Bernardo Almeida is a development and legal professional, with special focus on land-related legislation. His main country of work is Timor-Leste, where he lectured property rights at the national university and worked for five years as a Ministry legal advisor for the land sector. Bernardo also worked before in Afghanistan with UNDP and UN Habitat. Currently he is writing his PhD thesis of the Van Vollenhoven Institute of Leiden University Law School (Netherlands), focusing on describing the development of the formal land tenure system in Timor-Leste.

Registration (required)

Please send an email to h.m.van.der.minne@iias.nl if you would like to attend this lunch lecture.