From Peacebuilding to Social Justice

Dr Birgit Bräuchler

1Monash University, , Australia

Drawing on multi-sited and multi-temporal fieldwork, this paper follows the intricacies of long-term transformation processes at Indonesia’s margins, from colonial oppression and co-optation, to national integration and conflict, decentralisation and peacebuilding. In this long-term trajectory, we take a specific look at how structural violence, historical inequalities and deep religiosity led to mass violence in Maluku (Eastern Indonesia) that the central government refused to take responsibility of. This triggered indigenous people to revive local tradition to rebuild interreligious bridges and religious figures to instigate interfaith dialogue. These efforts so far fail to promote interethnic dialogue between indigenous people and migrants, which, on the long run, could result in future conflicts. The government’s focus is on economic development that often continues issues of structural violence through, for instance, land grabbing and the exploitation of natural resources. The peace movement and continuing injustices triggered the emergence of yet another kind of movement for broader social justice, in which the youth, local knowledge, international legal frameworks and a global protest rhetoric figure prominently. This paper contributes to the analysis of long-term transformation processes at the margins of post-Suharto Indonesia and argues for the need to broaden our understanding of processes of reconciliation and peace.

 

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