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By Gerry van Klinken

Via shut scrutiny of empirical fabrics and interviews, this ebook uniquely analyzes all of the episodes of long-running, common communal violence that erupted in the course of Indonesia’s post-New Order transition. Indonesia democratised after the lengthy and authoritarian New Order regime led to could 1998. however the transition was once a ways much less peaceable than is usually concept. It claimed approximately 10,000 lives in communal (ethnic and spiritual) violence, and approximately as many as that back in separatist violence in Aceh and East Timor. Taking a accomplished examine the communal violence that arose after the hot Order regime, this publication could be of curiosity to scholars of Southeast Asian experiences, social activities, political violence and ethnicity.

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Additional resources for Communal Violence and Democratization in Indonesia: Small Town Wars (Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series)

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Violence was not far below the surface. But the point is that this was all positively political, and not just anomic. It was above all about reclaiming local government for the local community. This led me to search for an alternative theoretical literature, one that made room for the political character of episodes of communal violence. I found some newer developments within social movements theory attractive in this regard. In some cruel sense, the violence was a part of normal politics. 3 The editors of The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements (Snow, Soule and Kriesi 2004b: 11) define the social movement, somewhat inelegantly but comprehensively, as collectivities acting with some degree of organization and continuity outside of the institutional or organizational channels for the purpose of challenging or defending extant authority, whether it is institutionally or culturally based, in the group, organization, society, culture or world order of which they are a part.

It is a difficult problem, and not one we can solve here. We will return to it at various times in subsequent chapters, for example when we consider the so-called security dilemma (Chapter 6). Suffice to say now that in my view, even in the midst of such security crises, many people were still conducting politics as usual, albeit in crisis mode and of a kind considered patently abnormal in the West. Such crises were part of a vicious game played often in countries where the institutional state is weak.

Nor did the other episodes we study in this book. Where studies have linked economic grievances with conflict they have not taken krismon as their point of departure, but the longer-term economic differences between one province and another. 3 This is hardly a grievancebased explanation, but a political one that begins with a perception of strength in rich provinces at times of national crisis. It is also more applicable to the secessionist violence in Aceh and Papua than to the communal violence discussed in this book.

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