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Borderland strategies: The socio-economic significance of ethnicity in cross-border labour migration

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This paper explores cross-border ethnic relations as an important socio-economic strategy for the borderland Iban population in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Iban seeking more lucrative wage work have long used their ethnic identity to facilitate circular labour migration across the international border into Sarawak, Malaysia, a strategy which has also compromised their claims to Indonesian citizenship. Drawing on long-term field research among the West Kalimantan Iban, we examine the close interconnections among cross-border labour migration, ethnicity, identity, and citizenship, and how this plays into contemporary issues related to Indonesian political and economic change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pacific Viewpoint
Pages (from-to)58-73
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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