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Population Pressure, Horizontal Inequality and Political Violence: A Disaggregated Study of Indonesian Provinces, 1990-2003


  • Gudrun Østby
  • Henrik Urdal
  • Mohammad Zulfan Tadjoeddin
  • S. Mansoob Murshed
  • Håvard Strand


All parts of a country are rarely equally affected by political violence. Yet statistical studies largely fail to address sub-national conflict dynamics. We address this gap studying variations in 'routine' and 'episodic' violence between Indonesian provinces from 1990 to 2003. Within a grievance framework, the article focuses on the violence potential of resource scarcity and population pressure, as well as inter-group dynamics related to polarisation and horizontal inequality. Demographic pressure and inequality seem to have little effect in isolation. However, in provinces where population growth is high, greater levels of inequality between religious groups appear to increase the violence risk.

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  • Gudrun Østby & Henrik Urdal & Mohammad Zulfan Tadjoeddin & S. Mansoob Murshed & Håvard Strand, 2011. "Population Pressure, Horizontal Inequality and Political Violence: A Disaggregated Study of Indonesian Provinces, 1990-2003," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 377-398.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:3:p:377-398
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2010.506911

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierskalla, Jan H. & Sacks, Audrey, 2017. "Unpacking the Effect of Decentralized Governance on Routine Violence: Lessons from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 213-228.
    2. Maystadt, Jean-François & Trinh Tan, Jean-François & Breisinger, Clemens, 2014. "Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 106-115.

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