Is Fiscal Decentralization Conflict Abating? Routine Violence and District Level Government in Java, Indonesia
Utilising a newly created data set we 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, sub-national 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 that people identify with more closely. Our results show that this is indeed the case, but the capacity to do so mainly lies with richer districts.
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