Is Fiscal Decentralization Conflict Abating? Routine Violence and District Level Government in Java, Indonesia
Utilizing a newly created data set the authors examine the relationship between routine/everyday violence and fiscal decentralization in 98 districts of the Indonesian island of Java. By examining possible relationships between fiscal decentralization and routine violence, this paper fills a gap in the literature where the analysis of the relation between fiscal decentralization and violence is relatively scant. Routine violence, which is different from both civil war and ethno-communal conflict, centres around group brawls, popular justice or vigilante violence. Despite the uniform implementation of fiscal decentralization, subnational entities exhibit varying experiences with decentralization, but a common consequence is the increased size of local government. Fiscal decentralization, and the increased size of local government, can alleviate pent-up frustrations with a centralized state, as local government expenditure is seen to satisfy the needs of communities with which people identify more closely. The authors also find that the greater the share of locally generated revenues, the lower the number of violent incidents; but this capacity to generate more local revenues mainly lies in richer districts. Therefore, richer districts are likely to have a lower incidence of violence.
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Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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