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By Mohammad Zulfan Tadjoeddin (auth.)

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Extra info for Explaining Collective Violence in Contemporary Indonesia: From Conflict to Cooperation

Sample text

This marked the beginning of Sukarno’s gradual loss of power. Under the leadership of General Suharto, the army took control after the failed coup. In the following year, on 11 March 1966, Sukarno signed a letter giving Suharto authority to take whatever measures he ‘deemed necessary’ to restore order. The following day, the army banned the Indonesian Communist Party. A year later, the Provisional People’s Representative Assembly (MPRS) officially removed Sukarno from office and appointed Suharto as acting president.

The DI revolt in each region had its own local context, but, united by the ideology of turning Indonesia into an Islamic state, where Islam was used to legitimize the rebellion and to rally popular consensus. Local groups formed a common front across regions. Dijk (1981) puts forward four reasons why people joined the DI movement. First was the division between the official army and guerrilla units. Many guerrilla groups participated in the independence revolution, but after the revolution not all could be accommodated in the official army of the newly independent state; most had to be demobilized.

Failure to realize their expectations leads to a sense of deprivation. The chapter finds no empirical evidence that the greed of local elites competing for the expected future value of state resources at the local level leads to violence. As the state regains its strength through a successful transition to democracy and decentralized governance, previously warring groups realize that they cannot eliminate their opponents. Instead, they may lose by continuing violence. A win–win outcome is to cooperate, to increase bargaining power with the central government.

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