Resources, Realpolitik, and Rebellion: Rethinking Grievance in Aceh, Indonesia
Committee ChairBaro, Mamadou
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis paper engages operationalized discourses from economics and political science on resources and conflict using anthropological theory and ethnographic techniques. Current trends among civil war scholars locate grievances as ubiquitous constructs or rhetorical tools, irrelevant in causal analysis. This de-emphasis generates an unsavory menu of options for governments seeking to eliminate domestic conflict in resource-rich regions rationalizing grievance-generating human rights abuses.In "developing" resource-rich regions the historical trajectory of indigenous populations is placed in conflict with a development agenda that serves state interests. Grievances are central to the conflict over identity within the affected communities in a struggle for national affiliation or disaffiliation. In the absence of a pluralistic political system grievance-motivated political imperatives combine with political isolation to generate political unrest. As grievances are central to understanding cultural change and social unrest, pluralistic institutions and human rights protections have "realpolitikal" value in securing stability in resource-rich regions.