Dennis Shoesmith

BA (Hons), MA, PhD

University Professorial Fellow

Professor Dennis Shoesmith specialises in the field of the comparative politics of Southeast Asia. His original research was concerned with Philippine politics but since 1999 he has focussed on the political development of Timor-Leste where his publications on issues of governance, state-building, political parties, electoral politics and the process of democratic transitions has attracted international recognition. He has been a consultant for the United Nations in Timor-Leste (2000-2001), an adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation there (2005) and a consultant and co-author of a  report on Democratic Governance for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (2012). He was also commissioned by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to prepare a joint report on opportunities for trilateral cooperation between Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste in their shared sub-region. The three governments accepted the report in 2015. His current research is on challenges for decentralised district governance in eastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

Professor Shoesmith contributes an undergraduate unit on the Comparative Politics of Southeast Asia. He has successfully supervised some sixteen PhD and Masters postgraduates and has served as an Associate Dean for Research and Post-Graduate Studies in the past. 

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Publications on Timor Leste

2017. D. Shoesmith. Timor-Leste  in 2016: Redefining Democracy in Dahly Singh and Malcolm Cook (eds.), Southeast Asian Affairs 2017. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 387-406.

2017. D. Shoesmith. Party Systems and Factionalism in Timor-Leste. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, (forthcoming).

2013. D. Shoesmith. Political Parties in M. Leach and D. Kingsbury (eds). The Politics of Timor-Leste. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program.

2012. P. McCloskey and D. Shoesmith. Timor-Leste Democracy & Governance Assessment. United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (not made publicly available by USAID).

2012. D. Shoesmith. Is Small Beautiful? Multiparty Politics and Democratic Consolidation in Timor-Leste. Asian Politics and Policy. Vol. 4 Issue 1. January. 33-51.

2012. D. Shoesmith. State-led prosperity or ‘runaway state-building’? Timor-Leste’s New Development Strategy in Michael Leach et al, eds. New Research on Timor-Leste. Swinburne Press, Melbourne. 285-289.

ISBN 978-0-85590-832-4.

2011. D. Shoesmith. Political Parties and Groupings in Timor-Leste, 3rd ed. Sydney: Australian Labor Party International.

2011. D. Shoesmith. Timor-Leste. On the Road to Peace and Prosperity? in  Southeast Asian Affairs 2011, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 323-38.

2010. D. Shoesmith. Decentralisation and the Central State in Timor-Leste. Refereed paper presented to the 18th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia in Adelaide, 5-8 July 2010, available on the ASAA website at:

2010. D. Shoesmith. The Politics of Decentralisation in Timor-Leste: Opportunities and Risks, in Steven Farram, ed. Locating Democracy, Representation, Elections and Governance in Timor-Leste. Darwin: CharlesDarwinUniversity Press. 20-32.

ISBN: 9780980665093.

2010. D. Shoesmith. Bringing the State to the People: Challenges facing local government reform in Timor-Leste. IPRIS, Lusophone Countries Bulletin 7, Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security. May. Lisbon.

2010. D. Shoesmith. East Timor. Countries at the Crossroads, New York: Freedom House. Maryland and Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc. 149-72.

ISBN: 978-1-4422-0547-5

2010. D. Shoesmith. Local Government Reform in Timor-Leste: Challenges of democratic empowerment and good governance, in Damian Grenfell et al, Nation-Building across Urban and Rural Timor-Leste, Conference Report, RMIT with Australian Volunteers International, conference held in Dili, 8-10 July, 2009, 59-62. ISBN 978-0-9805531-6-1.

2010. D. Shoesmith. Municipal elections and the 2012 General Election in Timor-Leste: political projections. Paper presented as invited international speaker at the 3rd anniversary celebrations of the National Elections Commission, Dili, Timor Leste. 15 January.

2008. D. Shoesmith. Legislative-Executive Relations in Timor-Leste: the Case for Building a Stronger Parliament in D. Mearns (ed.), Democratic Governance in Timor-Leste; Reconciling the Local and the National. Darwin: Charles Darwin University Press.

2008. D. Shoesmith. Remaking the State in Timor-Leste: the case for constitutional reform, 17th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia. Melbourne, 1-3 July.

Available at:

2007. D. Shoesmith (ed). The Crisis in Timor-Leste: Understanding  the Past, Imagining the Future. Darwin: Charles Darwin University Press.

2007. D. Shoesmith. Timor-Leste: Interpreting Violence in a Post-conflict State in D. Shoesmith (ed.). The Crisis in Timor-Leste: Understanding the Past, Imagining the Future. Darwin: Charles Darwin University Press.

2007. D. Shoesmith. Timor-Leste: semi-presidentialism in a new, small state. In Robert Elgie and Sophia Moestrup (Eds.), Semi-Presidentialism Outside Europe. London: Routledge.

2006. D. Shoesmith. East Timor: Is There a Pattern? Asian Currents, e-journal Asian Studies Association of Australia.

2005. D. Shoesmith. East Timor in an ‘Arc of Instability’. In T. Lea and B. Wilson (Eds.), The Stateof the North, A Selection of Papers from the 2003 Charles Darwin Symposia. Darwin: Charles Darwin University Press, 55-169.

2003. D. Shoesmith. Timor Leste: Divided Leadership in a Semi-Presidential System, Asian Survey. 43 (2), 231-252.

Dennis Shoesmith


T: 08 8946 6751

Casuarina Campus
Building Orange 6, Level 3, Room 6