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Flouting the law: Vigilante justice and regional autonomy on the Indonesian border

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After the Asian Economic Crisis in 1997 and the fall of president Suharto’s authoritarian regime in 1998, rural and urban Indonesia experienced a surge in vigilante killings and the rise of non-state forms of authorities working within the twilight of legality and illegality, catering the role of the state. Institutional uncertainty, large-scale decentralisation reforms and the deterioration of formal legal authority in post New Order Indonesia tempted these processes. This apparent lawlessness became especially evident along the fringes of the Indonesian state where state authority has continuously been waxing and waning and contested. This paper argues that by observing these processes of ‘lawlessness’ and vigilantism from the borderlands provides us with an exceptional window in understanding the ambiguous relationship between law and order in post-New Order Indonesia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalA S E A S: Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies
Pages (from-to)237-253
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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