The Maluku Wars: 'Communal Contenders' in a Failing State
VIOLENT CONFLICTS IN INDONESIA: ANALYSIS, REPRESENTATION, RESOLUTION, Charles A. Coppel, ed., pp. 129-143, London: Routledge, 2006
17 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2009
Date Written: December 1, 2008
Throughout the Suharto era, political scientists found Latin American corporatist models of the all-pervasive state among their most useful tools. But the Maluku conflict forces us to reexamine these long-held convictions. Today nobody talks corporatism, and observers are looking for other heuristic aids. Perhaps we should be looking at Africa's failed states. According to a comprehensive study of communal conflict around the world conducted by Ted Gurr and his colleagues, forty-two percent of sub-Saharan Africans belong to a politicised communal group. Their leaders manipulate ethnicity not in order to break away from the state but to grab a bigger share of state power for themselves. Gurr labels this kind of conflict the "communal contenders".
Keywords: communal violence, religious violence, state, ethnic conflict, indonesia, maluku, ambon, christianity, islam, transition
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