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When Violence Works: Postconflict Violence and Peace in Indonesia

by Patrick Barron Cornell University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 300 pages
AU$99.00 NZ$103.48
Product Status: Title is Print on Demand - May take 4 weeks
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Why are some places successful in moving from war to consolidated peace while others continue to be troubled by violence? And why does postconflict violence take different forms and have different intensities? By developing a new theory of postconflict violence Patrick Barron's When Violence Works makes a significant contribution to our understanding.


Barron picks out three postconflict regions in Indonesia in which to analyze what happens once the "official" fighting ends: North Maluku has seen peace consolidated; Maluku still witnesses large episodes of violence; and Aceh experiences continuing occurrences of violence but on a smaller scale than in Maluku. He argues that violence after war has ended revenge killings, sexual violence, gang battles, and violent crime, in addition to overtly political conflict) is not the result of failed elite bargains or weak states, but occurs because the actors involved see it as beneficial and lowcost. His findings pertain directly to Indonesia, but the theory will have relevance far beyond as those studying countries such as Colombia, the Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria seek a framework in which to assess what happens after war ends. Barron's theory also provides practical guidance for policymakers and development practitioners. Ultimately, When Violence Works pushes forward our understanding of why postconflict violence occurs and takes the forms it does.

List of Tables and FiguresPrefaceIntroduction1. Studying Postconflict Violence: Approaches and Methods2. Explaining Postconflict Violence: Evidence, Theories, and Arguments3. Violence and Indonesia's Democratic Transition4. Large Episodic Violence in Postconflict Maluku5. North Maluku's Peace6. Small Episodic Violence in Postconflict Aceh7. Why Has Extended Violent Conflict Not Recurred?ConclusionsGlossaryAppendix. The National Violence Monitoring System DatasetNotesReferencesIndex

"When Violence Works is an impressive book on multiple levels. Its theoretical sophistication will appeal to theorists in political science and peace studies. While its presentation of detailed case studies on post-conflict regions in Indonesia will be of great interest to scholars working in Southeast Asia."

- Christopher R. Duncan, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University, and author of Violence and Vengeance
Patrick Barron is Regional Advisor for the World Bank. He previously served as Regional Director at The Asia Foundation and led the World Bank’s conflict programming in Indonesia for seven years. He is coauthor of the award-winning Contesting Development and has written for World Development, Journal of Political Economy, and Journal of East Asian Studies.