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Ethnic geography on conflicts: the case of West Kalimantan, Indonesia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-26, 15:47 authored by Wang TanasaldyWang Tanasaldy
This article looks into the correlations between ethnic geography and conflicts between the Dayak and Madurese in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The first section of the article gives a brief theoretical background, and then an overview of the arguments commonly used to explain the conflict between the two ethnic groups. It discusses arguments which link the conflicts to primordial issues such as ethnic stereotyping and the history of group antagonism, as well as others which use an instrumental approach, for example writings which connect the conflicts with the issue of marginalisation. The article then proceeds to analyse how the spread and concentration of an ethnic group in certain locations may have contributed to ethnic conflicts. This argument is not new since experts have argued about a positive correlation in this regard, but no previous studies have cogently argued the West Kalimantan case. Taking into consideration the role of the history of the conflicts between the two ethnic groups and their strained relations, this article argues that ethnic geography has contributed significantly to the conflicts in two areas. In support argument, the article maps the population of both ethnic groups in strategic areas, an approach which has not been used previously.


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Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs



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