This book focuses on Indonesia and investigates why competition between various identity-affiliated groups to claim a new province, increases conflict severity. It includes a quantitative study, along with complementary case studies of provinces in Indonesia, which provide evidence that group fragmentation plays a role in determining conflict during a new province's struggle.
Against the background of the Indonesian government's Territorial Autonomy (TA) strategy, regional proliferation or pemekaran, the author examines the long-term decentralization project in Indonesia, which has an ethnically and religiously divided population. The book provides answers to the questions of how the new province claim increase conflict in the supporting districts and how competition among diverse elites in districts pursuing a new province precipitate conflict within the region. Based on extensive field research, the four case studies of districts with varying degrees of conflict reveal that the campaign for a new province proliferation increases the probability of conflict at the district level and conflict can escalate during the initiation of a new province stage. The author argues that more provinces may be necessary to ensure the fair distribution of wealth that would enable the whole population to enjoy a similar quality of life and that the Indonesian government needs to wisely and strategically uphold its unity if a federal arrangement is not an option.
Offering a novel contribution to the study of the relationship between territorial change and conflict in Indonesia, this book will be of interest to academics studying Indonesian politics, Southeast Asian politics as well as ethnic politics.