Newport, RI – Today the Pell Center released two new papers on the foreign policy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
Finding Partners: Timor-Leste’s Evolving Security Ties with Southeast Asia, authored by Natalie Sambhi, explores how Timor-Leste’s sense of geopolitical vulnerability, as a young democracy in an increasingly rivalrous region—when coupled with a number of pressing domestic imperatives—has played a key role in shaping its strategic outlook. Ms. Sambhi is currently a Research Fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre, and a PhD student at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
Despite the Odds: Timor-Leste’s Quest to Avoid a Debt Trap Dilemma and Achieve Democratic Stability, penned by Hunter Marston, details how Dilli might opt to confront some of its most sizable challenges—whether in terms of providing sustainable economic growth, pursuing democratic consolidation, or in fending off some of the more predatory trade policies of its larger neighbors. Mr. Marston is currently an independent consultant based in Washington DC, and a PhD candidate at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
“Both Natalie Sambhi and Hunter Marston are rising stars in the field of Southeast Asian studies, and these papers—in their analytical rigor, clarity and policy-relevance—are clear testaments to their expertise,” noted Dr. Iskander Rehman, Senior Fellow for International Relations at the Pell Center. “We’re delighted to publish their timely and insightful papers on the challenges confronting Asia’s youngest democracy.”
The papers are part of a Pell Center series of short essays and opinion pieces, made possible with the support of the government of Timor-Leste, on maritime dispute resolution and the future of the Asian order. The full line-up of papers is available at this link.