Peace-building in a number of contemporary contexts involves fragile states, influential customary systems and histories of land conflict arising from mass population displacement. This book is a timely response to the increased international focus on peace-building problems arising from population displacement and post-conflict state fragility. It considers the relationship between property and resilient customary systems in conflict-affected East Timor. The chapters include micro-studies of customary land and population displacement during the periods of Portuguese colonization and Indonesian military occupation. There is also analysis of the development of laws relating to customary land in independent East Timor (Timor Leste). The book fills a gap in socio-legal literature on property, custom and peace-building and is of interest to property scholars, anthropologists, and academics and practitioners in the emerging field of peace and conflict studies.
’Land policy is normally difficult and bitterly contested after civil wars. These authors combine a deep knowledge of both comparative land law and Timorese ethnography. The result is nuanced, thoughtful lessons of the dilemmas of property settlements using diverse districts of East Timor as case studies. A major contribution on the contest and accommodation between resilient custom and resurgent state law after war.’ John Braithwaite, Australian National University, Australia ’East Timor provides an unusual opportunity to observe the development of new land legislation in a recently-established nation-state. With its interdisciplinary approach and rich case study material, this volume provides a considered examination of the role of violence and social order in property analysis.’ Sara Pantuliano, Overseas Development Institute, UK 'The book provides a rich in-depth assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the customary property systems in situations of conflict. It adds value to the literature on known resilient customary systems in postcolonial contexts by providing an analysis and explanation for resilience in circumstances of war and displacement.' International Journal on World Peace Volume