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Open Access Ethnic identity politics in West Kalimantan

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Ethnic identity politics in West Kalimantan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the rise of ethnic identity politics in West Kalimantan and asks to what extent they also offer possibilities of civility (as well as the much better known possibilities of violence). It begins by introducing the ethnic politics of Dayaks and Malays prior to the 1998 reform (Reformasi). Ethnic politics refers mainly to the politics played or led by ethnic elites to secure greater representation in the executive and legislative branches. The chapter shows that the Dayak political resurgence after 1998 was not an instantaneous movement, but a reaction to a history of repression dating back to the colonial period. Then it discusses how the authoritarian New Order regime retarded local politics and hampered discussion of ethnicity, and the unintended effects of this policy. Finally it discusses how the 1998 reform led to a resurgence of ethnic politics.

Keywords: 1998 reform (Reformasi); Dayak political resurgence; Ethnic identity politics; West Kalimantan



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