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19 June 2009

The political economy of accountability in Timor-Leste

Blunt, P. 2009. The political economy of accountability in Timor-Leste: Implications for public policy Public Administration and Development. Volume 29 Issue 2, Pages 89 - 100.

From July 2006 to July 2008, Peter Blunt was Programme Manager of the AusAID-financed Timor-Leste Public Sector Capacity Development Programme in Dili, Timor-Leste. Before then, he had worked in 30 developing countries as a consultant and had held tenured full professorships of management in universities in Australia, Britain and Norway. The views expressed in this article are solely those of its author.

Abstract
With a view to establishing the likelihood of the occurrence of state capture and different forms of corruption and the feasibility of their management and prevention, important aspects of the historical, social, economic, political and governance context of Timor-Leste are examined. This context is found to be conducive to various forms of state capture and systemic grand and petty corruption, and to be resistant to conventional short-term technocratic anticorruption remedies.

While the latter are likely to have public relations benefits that may be helpful to the maintenance of political stability in the short run, it is argued that significant anticorruption progress is a long-term endeavour, achievable principally through: sustained impartial service delivery that undermines beliefs in patronage; hastening - through general education and the creation of a conducive legal environment for business - the emergence of leaders of integrity and the growth of a middle class; and the establishment of the rule of law.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122278458/abstract

Correspondence to Peter Blunt, Blunt & Associates P/L, PO Box 1035, Windsor
NSW 2756, Australia.email: Peter Blunt (peterblunt@yahoo.com)

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