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The pacifying effects of local religious institutions: an analysis of communal violence in Indonesia

[journal article]

De Juan, Alexander; Pierskalla, Jan H.; Vüllers, Johannes

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-451669

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Abstract This paper tests whether local religious institutions have a dampening effect on the probability of communal violence. It argues that a dense layer of institutions strengthens horizontal and vertical contacts and networks within religious communities. Horizontal linkages help to bridge social, economic, and ethnic divisions. Vertical contacts enable religious leaders to stay informed about communal grievances among their followers and to coordinate conflict resolution attempts. In our analysis of more than 60,000 villages in Indonesia, we are able to document a statistically significant and substantively meaningful negative effect of the density of local religious institutions on the probability of mass fighting. This effect is robust to the inclusion of an exhaustive list of confounding variables and alternative measures of violence. We present additional evidence that this pacifying effect of religious institutions is weaker or absent in conflicts that evolve along explicitly religious cleavages.
Keywords religious community; conflict management; ethnic relations; religion; institutionalization; mediation; Indonesia; Southeast Asia; developing country
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; Sociology of Religion
Free Keywords local religious institutions
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 211-224
Journal Political Research Quarterly, 68 (2015) 2
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1065912915578460
ISSN 0043-4078
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.