Meabh Cryan

PhD Candidate
Contact details
+61 2 6125 0835
Room: 7142
Meabh Cryan

Meabh has lived and worked in Timor-Leste since 2008, during this time she has worked closely with civil society organisations providing policy and legal advice on land issues and supporting a number of research and advocacy initiatives. Meabh is an active member of the Rede ba Rai (Land Network) and is passionate about carrying out her research collaboratively. Meabh has led a number of research processes in Timor-Leste, most notably supporting the Matadalan ba Rai process which carried out participatory research on land issues in 47 villages across 7 districts of Timor-Leste. In 2015 she acted as the lead field researcher on an Asia Foundation research project examining the Economic Dimensions of Domestic Violence in Timor-Leste. Meabh has an BCL in Law and an MSc in Development Studies from University College Dublin. Meabh began her PhD at SSGM in April 2014.

Research Interests:

Timor-Leste, law, territoriality, local governance and authority structures, community development, customary natural resource management.

Current Research Project:

Through the lens of examining contested land access in Timor-Leste Meabh’s PhD research seeks to provide a detailed analysis of how multiple actors operating at different scales legitimate their land access both through defending and resisting land expropriation for development. In the absence of any coherent land policy in Timor-Leste new contestations over land for state driven mega-projects (in Covalima and Oecusse), re-emerging contestations over colonial coffee plantations and intensifying development based evictions in Dili are re-defining land access, group formation and ultimately state formation. Meabh’s research seeks to understand the real sources of discursive power that local and state actors in Timor-Leste rely upon in negotiations over land access. At the global level this research seeks to provide a rich example of how resources, power and authority are mutually constitutive and the implications that this may have for state formation in an emerging post-conflict nation such as Timor-Leste.

Key Publications:

Cryan, M. (2016) ‘Whose Land Law?: Analysis of the Timor-Leste Transitional Land Law’, The Asia Foundation, Dili

Cryan, M. (2016) 'Quick Guide to the Changes in Timor-Leste’s Expropriation Law’, Tahan Briefing Note 1/2016, Dili

Cryan, M. (2016) 'Quick Guide to the Changes in Timor-Leste’s Transitional Land Law’, Tahan Briefing Note 2/2016, Dili

Cryan, M. (2015) ‘Dispossession and Impoverishment: Potential Impacts of the Suai Supply Base Project in Timor-Leste’, SSGM Discussion Paper, Australia National University, Canberra

Cryan, M. (2015) ‘Land Politics Under Timor-Leste’s New Government’, Canberra, SSGM In Brief Series, Australia National University, Canberra

Cryan, M. (2015) ‘The Long Haul: Citizen Participation in Timor-Leste Land Policy’, SSGM Discussion Paper, Australia National University, Canberra

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