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Imagined communities, militancy and insecurity in Indonesia

Carnegie, Paul J. (2016) Imagined communities, militancy and insecurity in Indonesia. In: Human Insecurities in Southeast Asia. Springer, Singapore, pp. 53-68. ISBN 9789811022449

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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 policymakers understood and responded to the security threat posed by Islamist militancy. By situating localized responses to the problem in historical context, the following chapter 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. 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,” this chapter establishes that persistent and excessive punitive action by the state is potentially counterproductive in the long run. It argues that a more nuanced approach that both supports and utilizes various nontraditional security responses (preventative measures) is also critical for addressing the conditioning factors underlying Islamist militancy and its different social imaginary. On its own, a singular reliance on punitive action fails to address effectively complex and deeply rooted types of insecurity in Indonesia. If overutilized as a security response, it runs too high a risk of antagonizing and further polarizing oppositional segments of the population. This in turn can perpetuate “ghettoized” senses of enmity and alienation toward the state and wider society.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-2245-6_4
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Government, Development and International Affairs
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2016 00:21
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 00:21

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