Communal Violence and Democratization in Indonesia
Small Town Wars
Routledge – 2007 – 180 pages
Through close scrutiny of empirical materials and interviews, this book uniquely analyzes all the episodes of long-running, widespread communal violence that erupted during Indonesia’s post-New Order transition.
Indonesia democratised after the long and authoritarian New Order regime ended in May 1998. But the transition was far less peaceful than is often thought. It claimed about 10,000 lives in communal (ethnic and religious) violence, and nearly as many as that again in separatist violence in Aceh and East Timor.
Taking a comprehensive look at the communal violence that arose after the New Order regime, this book will be of interest to students of Southeast Asian studies, social movements, political violence and ethnicity.
'…In a way few more ethnographically intensive studies can, van Klinken's volume will be exceptionally useful to students of contentious politics. In particular, the volume offers a way to bring serious discussion of Indonesia - and of a very tidy set of case studies - into classes on comparative politics, nationalism, or political violence. Moreover, the volume's conciseness and eminent readability, as well as the very fact that by not claiming to have all the answers, van Klinken invites debate and discussion, make it all the more suited for classroom use.' Meredith Weiss, Democratization
'…Van Klinken's equally structuralist account looks up from the inequalities and tensions of district and region. It is an unexpectedly revelatory vantage point, and Van Klinken explores it with empirical rigor, theoretical originality, and narrative brilliance.' Bob Hefner, Journal of Asian Studies
1. Introduction 2. Why Now? Temporal Contexts 3. Why Here? The Town beyond Java 4. Identity Formation in West Kalimantan 5. Escalation in Poso 6. Mobilization in Ambon 7. Polarization in North Maluku 8. Actor Constitution in Central Kalimantan 9. Concluding Reflections
Gerry van Klinken is a Research Fellow at KITLV/ Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, The Netherlands.