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Between self-interested and socio-pschological motivations : the complexity and dynamic of ethnic conflict decision in Indonesia

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Item Summary

Title: Between self-interested and socio-pschological motivations : the complexity and dynamic of ethnic conflict decision in Indonesia
Authors: Ansori, Mohammad Hasan
Keywords: Aceh conflict
Issue Date: May 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
Abstract: Many structural factors, especially the natural resources exploitation, are constantly treated as the causal factors of the Aceh conflict. However, the macro-structural analysis of the conflict fails to explain such problems as the enduring militancy and powerful resistance of Acehnese people, the absent supports of a large number of Acehnese people for the rebel movement, the absence of similar resistance in other exploited Indonesian resources-rich-provinces, such as Riau and East Kalimantan. Rather, we need to consult human agency and the historicist-dynamic context of the conflict setting as the structural factors are not "out there" mechanically constraining and making Acehnese join the rebel movement.
Drawing from the inadequacy of the macro-structural analysis, this study proposes to have a reliable micro-level study on Aceh conflict by specifically focusing on the complex and dynamic individual motivations for joining the rebel movement. Moreover, since much of the recent ethnic conflict research have been largely revolved around the clashing theoretical assumptions of self-interested and socio-psychological motivations, this study is specifically designed to transcend the theoretical debate between them in accounting for ethnic conflict. Additionally, since numerous studies on rebellions, ethnic violence, revolutions, civil wars and other typical movements tend to conflate both motivations of elite and rank-and-file member, this study methodologically separate the motivational forces of elite from the ones of the rank-and-file member.
This study then explores the self-interested and socio-psychological motivations of Acehnese people joining the rebel movement, attempts to examine the motivations that most dominantly drive Acehnese people to join the rebel movement, and finally explains how the self-interested motivations interact with the socio-psychological ones on the ground. The research findings primarily indicate that the rank-and-file combatants' and the elites' decisions to join the rebel movement are more likely to be shaped by multiple and mixed self-interested and socio-psychological motivations, rather than by a single one. The various motivations indeed interact with each other in triggering their decisions to join the rebel movement. It is a combination of self-interested and socio-psychological motivations that characterize their motivations for joining the movement. The rank-and-file combatants are far more likely to have only socio-psychological motivations or mixed ones, whereas there are more clearly self-interested motivations found in the elite.
Therefore, a rigorously theoretical account for ethnic conflict should, at one point, theoretically deal with and bridge the competing self-interested and socio-psychological motivations of the people engaging in the conflict and the contrasting levels of micro and macro analyses; at another point, methodologically separate the motivational forces of the rank-and-file combatants from the ones of the elites.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101722
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Sociology



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