Faculty of Health, Arts and DesignDepartment of Education and Social SciencesASSIGNMENT COVER SHEETStudent Name: Hussain Alhamzah Subject and Discipline: POL30014 (Politics of the Pacific)Phone Number: Email: [email protected]
swin.edu.auDue Date: Word Count:Tutor’s Name: Warren Evans Tutorial Time: Type of Assignment: Term Paper Title of Assignment:Compare the findings of the World Bank on the quality of governance in two of the case studies we consider in this unit. What features of the history and current political institutions do you think help explain these findings? How do these features explain the similarities and differences between these countries found by the World Bank?I have read the feedback on my previous assignments in this discipline and tried to take it into account in writing this assignment.Yes X Not applicable, this is my first assignment in this discipline No Reason? ……………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………….. This assignment must be your own work.
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. This paper will compare findings of the World Bank’s Governance Indicators regarding Vanuatu and Timor-Leste and outline the certain historical events and todays reality which could have influenced the findings displayed on the World Governance Indicators (WGI). Then the paper will begin with an explanation on what the WGI is, the methodology of obtaining its information and how it is compiled and displayed into a readable interface to be used as an outline to draw a rough sketch of governance quality in certain nations, how the data is collected and who sources of data are. Followed with a detailed outline about the two countries in a timeline format to understand how these states came about, which colonial powers had the most influence in their destiny, the events leading up to their independence, key turning points in their history, conflict and their current economic and political state both domestically and within the region. Since the two nations mentioned earlier have different demographics, colonised by different powers, obtained their independence in a unique and dramatic form, their use of a variety in systems of government, elections and how they differ in historical and current affairs, past and present conflicts and interests to each other, so the findings of this paper will prove that, such differences influence the present-day living standards, government policies and events. Therefore, the data shown by WGI should reflect accordingly showing the similarities and differences between the two nations and how well developed one is to the other, which events within a period in history which may have been the reason behind the level increase or decrease in certain figures and indicators.
Then the paper will go on to explain the equilibrium between quality of governance, economic growth and development trends, which in turn impact the quality of life in a certain state and promote further development or decline (Sen, 2014, pp. 1-2). The WGI (World Bank Group, 2016) is a one of a kind research project launched and funded by The World Bank, which collects data obtained from multiple sources of information to put together indicators of quality in global governance qualities since 1996 (Daniel Kaufmann, 2010). It consists of multiple platforms and layouts to display its findings covering 200 nations and their regions; Voice ; Accountability, Political Stability, Absence of Violence/Terrorism, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption. These indicators come from a range of inputs obtained from survey respondents, non-government organisations, commercial business information providers and public organisations which operate on a global scale. A full list of data sources can be obtained in the ‘Documentation’ tab WGI website (World Bank Group, 2017).
Comprehensively but briefly, the six indicators mentioned are as follows:• Voice and Accountability: The power of a citizen’s voice in choosing their government, freedom of speech and media censorship.• Political Stability and Absence of Terrorism: Portrays the perception of a government being destabilized or overthrown with unconstitutional means or violent manner in the form of terrorism or politically motivated violence. Also, the ability of the government to create and implement sound and effective policies• Government Effectiveness: This outlines the quality of the public service, quality of civil service and its independence from political pressure, quality of policy design and implementation and the quality of commitment the government has towards these policies.• Regulatory Quality: Stipulates the government’s ability to produce sound and effective policies and regulations and the ability to implement them to promote development of the private sector. The respect a government has towards its citizens and the state institutions.
• Rule of Law: How well agents abide and have confidence in the rules of society and specifically contract enforcement, courts, police and property rights, as well as the crime and violence rates in the country/ territory.• Control of Corruption: The extent of exercising public power for private gains, large and petty forms of corruption and the level of influence the upper and ruling class have over the state. (Daniel Kaufmann, 2010, p.4). Vanuatu, formerly called ‘New Hebrides’ by Captain. James Cook in 1768 and before that named ‘Terra Australis Del Espritu Santo’, by Portuguese explorers in 1606 (BBC News, 2017). This tropical island is a house-hold tourist destination, the calm pacific waters the surround it is no reflection of the nation’s turbulent history. Its native inhabitant Melanesian people have lived there for over 4000 years.
Today it is estimated to have a population of 277,000 people (Vanuatu Tourism Office, 2017). In the 1800’s, many of Vanuatu’s indigenous people were kidnapped on the hands of European slave traders that sent them for slave labour on cotton fields in nearby Fiji and sugar plantations in North Eastern Australia (BBC News, 2017). In 1865, migrants from France and Britain began settling on the Island forcing the kidnappings to stop, this also pushed those European powers to create what was called a Joint Naval Commission in 1887 to protect their citizens. In 1906, when that commission was converted into an administration role of the settlers and a condominium between London and Paris to care for the indigenous people of Vanuatu by both nations (BBC News, 2017). In 1963, ‘Nagriamel’ was formed, which was a nationalist-traditionalist movement led by a Euro-Melanesian man of Scottish-Tongan decent, named Jimmy Stevens. The group aimed to return ownership of the entire 36% of land the European settlers owned and occupied back to the indigenous people and bring back the traditional ‘Ni-Vanuatu’ way life. In 1977, the movements efforts persuaded the British and French to gather the representatives from every island to discuss their concerns of instability and work together on a solution, which ultimately led to a design of an independence plan and schedule a referendum in 1980.
Between 1977 and 1980, the colonial powers involved put in place a self-governing system for Vanuatu, in 1978 (BBC News, 2017). The referendum in 1980 was held and was in favour of independence and the name of the newly formed nation was changed from ‘The Hebrides’ to ‘Vanuatu’ (Vanuatu Tourism Office, 2017). Private interest parties, French and foreign financial groups, who were seeking to create a tax-free zone in the region (BBC News, 2017), backed Jimmy Stevens in this political transition period to declare a new Republic that was independent of Vanuatu, in his home island of ‘Espritu Santo’, he called it the ‘Independent State of Vemarana’. (Vanuatu Tourism Office, 2017). Regional states intervened, Papua New Guinea (PNG) fought the rebellion with the assistance of Australia, the PNG military invaded Espritu Santo and ended the idea of a separate republic (BBC News, 2017).
Such an intervention was crucial for the region because division in Vanuatu will add further instability to the region, already named, ‘The Arc of Instability’, due to the political woes its post-colonial, Melanesian nations were facing (Evans, 2012, p. 2). Father Walter Lini became the first Prime Minister of the new Parliamentary Republic, afterwards the power of law and a strong Parliament ousted Prime Ministers, invalidated integrity of elections, removed public office occupants on charges of corruption and introduced laws to allow female MPs, as the country was known to have none (BBC News, 2017).
Vanuatu is still a parliamentary republic, despite the presence of active volcanos, it is a stable, developing nation politically, despite recent political turbulence between 2002-2016 the power of its Parliament and laws step in to resolve the issues (Commonwealth, 2018), making it the fastest growing economy in the Pacific Island region through tourism, construction, agriculture and developing further at an ‘above average’ rate (Asian Development Bank, 2017). Timor-Leste (TL) or commonly referred to as East Timor (ET), is the eastern half of Timor island in the Pacific (Governement of Timor-Leste, 2017). The word “Timor” is Malay for ‘east’ and Leste is Portuguese for ‘east’, so the meaning of Timor-Lese is literally “East-East” (Centeral Intelligance Agency USA, 2018). When invaded by the Portuguese in the early 1600’s, they used it as sandalwood trading post (BBC News, 2018). Dutch invaders followed and claimed the Western half of the island in 1651.
Presently the border which splits Timor island in two was in fact drawn as part of a treaty in between the Portuguese and Dutch after a battle in 1749, ‘Portuguese Timor’ was to be the Eastern half and the Dutch were to remain in the West which will later become part of Indonesia after WW2 (Timor-Leste, 2018). ET has a population of approx. 1.2 million (BBC News, 2018), a parliamentary republic government system (Governement of Timor-Leste, 2017) in its capital city Dili. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index in 2017, ranked TL as the ‘most democratic’ state in South-East Asia, that is based on indicators including: political participation, electoral process and pluralism, political culture and civil liberties, and the functioning of government (Guterres, 2018). Although that is an impressive rank amongst a significantly stable and economically wealthy neighbourhood of nations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, the reality is TL is a politically struggling nation with a violent history as this paper will explain further on. The independence of TL came after a series of violent conflicts including a share of WW2.
During its push to conquer the Pacific, Japan invaded the island in 1942, they were met with Australian forces as a line of defence against a Japanese advance towards Australia. In the process approximately 60,000 local Timorese were killed in the conflict and Japan took control of the island until WW2 ended in 1945 (BBC News, 2018). A revolution in Portugal in April 1974 brought down the government and promised to free Portuguese colonies (BBC News, 2018). The void left behind by Portugal brought about a brief but vital civil war in Timor island (Soares, 2008) between Maoist communist group Democratic Union of East Timor (UDT) and FRETILIN, a nationalist coalition of groups lead by Xanana Gusmao who won the war pushing the UDT to flee across into the Indonesian controlled West Timor. An event in which the Indonesians exploited to justify their invasion of ET in 1975 declaring ET as the 27th province under an ‘anti-communist’ campaign (Salla, 1995), five Australian journalists, also known as Balibo Five who were exposing the atrocities’ were tragically killed allegedly by Indonesian forces (Dubler, 2010). Indonesia was met by fierce resistance from FRETILIN, this war brought about repression and famine killing 200,000. The year 1978 saw the death of Nicolao Lobato the leader of FRETILIN’s armed division as the group lost control of most of ET cities, Gusmao took control of the armed division in 1981 and continued the fight (Soares, 2008) until he was captured by the Indonesians in 1992 and sentenced to life for ‘sub-division’, but he continued to direct FRETILIN’s policy from prison, remaining as a symbol of ET’s independence struggle (Soares, 2008).
On the 20th anniversary of the Indonesian invasion in 1995, a protest was held in Jakarta, 112 people entered the Russian and Dutch embassies there to promote awareness (BBC News, 2018). Acting Bishop of Dili Charles Belo and the acting resistance leader Jose Ramos-Horta both won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, which gave ET the international awareness they were seeking (Cleary, 2006). Indonesian dictator General Suharto resigns in 1998 replaced by B. J Habibie, changing the Indonesian Political landscape (Soares, 2008). Habibie suggested the ET might get ‘Autonomy’ within Indonesia. Gusmao was moved to house arrest in February of 1999 (BBC News, 2018). In May, Indonesia and Portugal sign an agreement allowing ET to determine its future and a UN sponsored referendum was held in September where a vote of 78% voted for independence, sparking violence between pro and Indonesian backed anti-independence groups (Margesson & Vaughn, 2005), a UN mandated International Force for East Timor (INTERFET), commanded by Australian General Peter Cosgrove was deployed to ET (Memorial, 2018). A meeting of international donors in Tokyo pledged $520 million USD to redevelopment of ET (BBC News, 2018).
Australia and ET sign a memorandum of understanding in 2001 regarding future revenues of oil and gas in the Timor Sea, stating the 90% of profits go to ET (Triggs, 2002). In the same year an election of an 88-member constituent assembly was held and FRETILIN win a majority of 55 seats, followed by a Gusmao victory in presidential elections in 2002 (King, 2003). As the violence between pro and anti-independence groups continues, the UN Security Council set up an armed support mission (UNMISET) to aid the new government, followed by a formal declaration of independence held in Dili including a list of VIP’s such as Former US President Bill Clinton and Indonesian President Sukranputri and in September of the same year, ET was welcomed as the 191st member of the United Nations (Reuters, 2008). The following years saw more landmark agreements, violence and key events.
Production of off-shore oil and gas began in 2004, an agreement in 2005 between Indonesia and ET regarding the border, UNMISET leave ET and in 2006 Australia and ET sign to divide billions of expected earnings, delaying talks between the two about the controversial maritime border (BBC News, 2018). Violence erupted once again after a UN report claimed that the 24-year Indonesian occupation was directly responsible for the atrocities caused in that period. Foreign troops return once again to Dili as 600 troops of the total 1400 ET troops were sacked earlier in the year formed factions and clashed with each other and government troops causing arson, looting and unrest in the streets, pushing a 125,000 to shelter camps (Deutsch, n.d.).
This unrest forced PM Alkatiri to resign for his poor handling of these clashes paving the way for Jose Ramos-Horta to become the new PM (Reuters, 2008). The UN Security Council once again stepped in setting up a non-militarised mission (UNIMET), 2000 Australian Peace keepers deployed under Operation Astute which remained until 2013 (Memorial, 2018). Jose Ramos-Horta wins the Presidential election in 2007 and FRETILIN lead by former PM Alkatiri wins highest number of parliamentary seats, Gusmao was named as PM sparking new violent protests (Reuters, 2008), leading to an assassination attempt on President Jose R H in 2008, where he was shot in the stomach prompted him to request an extension of presence for the peace keeping forces and a final crackdown on violence which lead to the death of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado (Kingsbury, 2009). The year 2009, the first district of Dili was returned to ET police by the UN Peacekeepers since the faction war of 2006, bringing hope for peace, but poverty and corruption was rife, Amnesty International reported that ET was not compensating its citizens for the violence of 1999, claims which President Jose RH acknowledged. Relative peace on the streets was now achieved, the government was able to focus on reconstruction (Kingsbury, 2009), applying to join the Association of South East Asian nations (ASEAN) to accelerate economic development but is yet to be approved due to instability (Hunt, 2016). Further democratic elections and political developments followed as ET is gains political momentum that was evident enough to persuade the UN to dismantle the peace keeping mission UNIMET in 2013 (BBC News, 2018) as Australia withdraws its remaining troops after a controversial six-year campaign (Memorial, 2018) who some claim was part a political and economic agenda to maintain Australian influence in the region and mostly to control the oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea, ever since the Indonesian invasion of ET in 1975 (Davidson, 2018). This was more evident when the relatively good relations between Australia and ET were strained in 2014, as ET went to the International courts accusing Australian agents of bugging cabinet meetings to gain an advantage in the oil and gas deal negotiations back in 2004 (Allard, 2016), the case was dropped by ET in June 2015 after Australia returned important seized documents in a raid conducted by its forces in Dili (Allard, 2016). The International court then took on the case of the disputed maritime border between ET and Australia, since there are lucrative oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea being claimed by both parties in 2016, but by September of 2017 both parties signed a breakthrough agreement on the maritime border ending the decade long row (BBC News, 2018).
Back to the question: What features of the history and current political institutions help explain WGI findings, and how do these features explain the similarities and differences between Vanuatu and ET found by the World Bank? In the case of similarities, there isn’t much between the two nations in terms of political stability and absence of stability, rule of law, government effectiveness, control of corruption and regulatory quality. Vanuatu is a clear leader in these indicators, despite a sharp drop in the most of the indicators besides rule of law, voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence in the 2002-2003 period, very likely to due to a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck the capital Port Vila in 2002 causing high levels of damage but very low casualty count (Pararas, 2002), but sure enough the country recovered and the indicators jumped back up significantly in the following years. Individual indicators of both countries side by side show a very turbulent fluctuation in all of ET’s indicators but a solid performance in the year 2000 after independence was granted followed by a drop in all indicators besides voice and accountability, rightfully so due to the substantial democracy respect which ET has in the region, as mentioned earlier they are the most democratic nation in the pacific region.
Absence of violence indicators are increasing after the crackdown on violent factions in 2008 as the country begins to settle its differences within and outside its borders after a sharp drop in 2001 following the unrest between pro and anti-independence groups in 2000-2001.ET still lacks rule of law, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, political stability and control of corruption even after appointing their first anti-corruption commissioner in 2010, Aderito Soares (BBC News, 2018). Overall Vanuatu is the stand out better performer of the two nations, due to the nature of gaining independence being on the grounds of understanding between locals and colonial powers, and the abrupt ending to the rebellion of Jimmy Stevens in 1980 with the help of Papua New Guinea and Australia. By eliminating the rise of any violence, rebellions and instability. The country’s government was then able to focus on prosperity and sure enough it became an economic and development success. ET has had different warring factions and opposing parties which resorted to violence, in fact the country gained independence due to the struggle and guerrilla warfare of FRETILIN against Indonesian invaders until they formed a democratic nation, which regardless of violence and peace keepers patrolling the streets, votes were respected.
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