Pragmatic conflict is that which arises in the first instance between villages and thereafter between combinations of villages. In Madang pragmatic conflicts arise between coordinate units within administrative structures. When pragmatic conflict exists between village-level units, it does not matter whether everyone in the villages concerned is a member of such a unit or not. Ideological conflict in contrast cuts across village boundaries. Logically, pragmatic and ideological conflict is incompatible. In the former a man makes common cause with all members of his own village in opposition to outsiders. But in Madang there are other reasons why ideological conflict has led to greater integration between villages. Pragmatic conflict has reinforced the village’s pre-existing tendency towards autonomy and the paramountcy of village interests, ideological conflict has created a sense of identity beyond the village just because it has divided the village internally.