Civil Society Engagement and Communal Violence: Reflections of Various Hypotheses in the Context of Indonesia
Mohammad Zulfan Tadjoeddin, CIVIL SOCIETY ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNAL VIOLENCE: REFLECTIONS OF VARIOUS HYPOTHESES IN THE CONTEXT OF INDONESIA, July-December 2004
18 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2005
This paper aims to examine how several types of engagements within civil society, namely (a) inter-communal civic engagement, (b) self (community) policing and (c) elite integration, can contain communal violence, at the proximate level, in Indonesia. Based on Indian data, Varshney found that inter-communal civic engagement can moderate ethnic violence. Fearon and Laitin theoretically proposed that self policing can mitigate communal violence. Casual observation of Indonesian data indicates that elite integration may also help in avoiding communal violence. These hypotheses are employed to Indonesian context to examine their relevance. Given the nature of Indonesian society, namely (a) the highly segregated setting, (b) the paternalistic structure, and (c) the fact that communal violence is usually triggered by a clash at the individual level, no single mechanism can fully explain the role of civil society mechanism in mitigating communal violence. The three mechanisms have to work together in a more integrated way, not separately, in order to create a society immune to being infected - to borrow a medical term - by the virus of communal violence.
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