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Of social imaginary and violence: responding to Islamist militancy in Indonesia

Carnegie, Paul J. (2016) Of social imaginary and violence: responding to Islamist militancy in Indonesia. Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong.

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In the early 2000s, Indonesia witnessed a proliferation of Islamist paramilitary groups and terror activity in the wake of Suharto’s downfall. Having said this, over the years since Suharto’s downfall, the dire threat predictions have largely failed to materialize at least strategically. This outcome raises some interesting questions about the ways in which Indonesian policy-makers responded to the security threat posed by Islamist militancy. Drawing on Temby’s thesis about Darul Islam and negara Islam Indonesia and combining this with Colombijn and Lindblad’s concept of ‘reservoirs of violence’, the following paper establishes that persistent and excessive punitive action by the state is potentially counter-productive in the long run. On its own, punitive action fails to address effectively the conditioning factors underlying militancy and its different social imaginary. If over-utilized, it runs too high a risk of antagonizing and further polarizing oppositional segments of the population by perpetuating a ‘ghettoized’ sense of enmity and alienation amongst them towards the state and wider society. This paper argues that a more nuanced approach that both supports and utilizes various preventative measures is also critical for addressing complex and deeply rooted types of insecurity. By situating localized responses to the problem in historical context, the paper underscores the importance of charting a course between strategic and human security concerns to counter the specific imaginary of extreme thinking and limit the conditions under which Islamist militancy reproduces in Indonesia.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: The Institute launched a Working Paper Series in 2012. It is a key component of the IAS profile both locally and internationally. The Working Paper Series acts as a publication resource to facilitate the rapid and open-access dissemination of work by IAS scholars, UBD faculty and other scholars working in and on the region. This Series of topical peer-reviewed research papers, many of which go on to finalized publication in international journals, is available in printed and online versions. Papers from the IAS WPS can be downloaded from the list located on this webpage. Printed versions are also available from the Institute’s publication collection.
Uncontrolled Keywords: counter terrorism policy; Indonesia; imagined communities; Islamism; militancy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Government, Development and International Affairs
Depositing User: Repo Editor
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 22:58
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2016 22:58

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