In the second of our two events on Timor Leste, this panel will explore the historical and societal implications of its admission to ASEAN membership:

Dr Ying Hooi will explore the contested views on Timor-Leste’s admission to ASEAN and the challenges ahead for ASEAN and Timor-Leste in this regional grouping.

Ariel Mota Alves will examine the narrative of Timor-Leste’s ‘readiness’ to join ASEAN, which centres on capacity constraints. He argues that ‘readiness’ essentialises sovereign transfer, political unification, and instrumentality of regional institutions – institutional characteristics that do not capture ‘the ASEAN way’ of regionalism.

Takahiro Kamisuna will present his current work on ASEAN solidarity for self-determination of East Timorese during the 1990s. It demonstrates how human rights norm was claimed by Southeast Asian nationalists upon the conflict of Timor-Leste and created inter-national solidarity of ASEAN’s community for Timor-Leste. The study delineates an alternative to state-oriented vison of ASEAN or ‘Asian Value’, by examining supra-state solidarity of social movements in Timor-Leste, Indonesia and other ASEAN countries.

More about the speakers:

Dr Khoo Ying Hooi is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of International and Strategic Studies at Universiti Malaya (UM). She is the author of ‘The Bersih Movement and Democratization in Malaysia’ (SIRD/ ISEAS/ Lexington Books, 2020). She has also co-edited several volumes, including ‘Rethinking Human Rights and Peace in the Post-Independence Timor-Leste through Local Perspectives’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).

Ariel Mota Alves is a Timorese student currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science with a Graduate Certificate in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His research focuses on the environmental changes in Southeast Asia and Timor-Leste. Ariel is a research intern and student affiliate at the East-West Center in Honolulu.

Takahiro (Taka) Kamisuna is a PhD student at Centre of Development Studies and research assistant at Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge. Taka has worked on nationalism in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. His works were and will be published in ‘Indonesia’ journal and ‘Nations and Nationalism’.



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