The Struggle Continues: Peace and Prosperity, Democratic Values and Development in Political Party Flags

  • Catherine E. ArthurEmail author
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


As political contexts change and develop, so too do identities and the symbols that represent them. This chapter examines how the concept the national struggle—funu—has been reimagined and reconceptualised in the post-independence state. With the struggle for self-determination over and in the absence of a common enemy in Indonesia, numerous social divisions have emerged in East Timorese society. In order to achieve national unity, a key objective of nation-building, it has been necessary to adapt the powerful tenet of funu to the post-independence state; the struggle continues, but it is now against the prevailing social, economic, and political challenges that remain. The chapter examines how the now figurative, reconceptualised struggle has been symbolically represented by political parties, created since the return to independence. It examines the discourse of democratisation and development that is used to redefine the struggle, and problematises its origins in the UN missions. A critique of Post-development theory enables a deeper understanding of the complex processes of appropriation, and how an initially foreign discourse has come to outline an independent, East Timorese nationalism.


Timor-Leste Democratisation Development Post-development theory Electoral politics Flags 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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