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Title: The politics of violence on an Indonesian periphery
Authors: Davidson, Jamie Seth 
Keywords: Ethnic violence
Indonesian politics
Kalimantan Barat
West Kalimantan
Issue Date: Mar-2003
Citation: Davidson, Jamie Seth (2003-03). The politics of violence on an Indonesian periphery. South East Asia Research 11 (1) : 59-89. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Of the many cases of regional strife in post-Suharto Indonesia, few match the complexity of West Kalimantan, an outlying province rich in ethnic heterogeneity and natural resources. Forms of violence in West Kalimantan fit neither the category of massive regional violence: non-separatist strife that first exploded in the post-Suharto state (Maluku Islands, Poso and Central Kalimantan) nor separatist-related violence suffered over the course of the New Order (Aceh, Papua and Timor), which, not incidentally, then intensified following Suharto's fall. Only West Kalimantan experienced sustained, non-separatist violence that traversed the entirety of the New Order. In this way, this case complicates claims that Indonesia's current regional violence is merely an outcome of the instability of the incipient post-Suharto state, or that regional bloodshed under the New Order was but a by-product of separatism. In particular, this article examines the rise of ethno-political movements in West Kalimantan that grew out of two recent incidents of widespread civilian violence: the 1997 Madurese-Dayak riots and the Malay (and later Dayak)-Madurese episode of 1999. In this analysis, three interlocking mechanisms come to the fore. The first two are the specificity of local historical trajectories and the politicization of ethnicity. The third mechanism is the complex interplay between élites, with the routinization of violence among belligerents in the sparking of upheaval. Although these ethno-political revitalizations purport 'local' orientations, broader, national processes have also provided the opportunities and space essential for their dynamism to flourish.
Source Title: South East Asia Research
ISSN: 0967828X
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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