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Resilient Communities

Book description

In Resilient Communities, Jana Krause focuses on civilian agency and mobilization 'from below' and explains violence and non-violence in communal wars. Drawing on extensive field research on ethno-religious conflicts in Ambon/Maluku Province in eastern Indonesia and Jos/Plateau State in central Nigeria, this book shows how civilians responded to local conflict dynamics very differently, evading, supporting, or collectively resisting armed groups. Combining evidence collected from more than 200 interviews with residents, community leaders, and former fighters, local scholarly work (in Indonesian), and local newspaper-based event data analysis, this book explains civilian mobilization, militia formation, and conflict escalation. The book's comparison of vulnerable mixed communities and (un)successful prevention efforts demonstrates how under courageous leadership resilient communities can emerge that adapt to changing conflict zones and collectively prevent killings. By developing the concepts of communal war and social resilience, Krause extends our understanding of local violence, (non-)escalation, and implications for prevention.

Reviews

‘In exploring how and why low-intensity episodes of violence organized around religious identities sometimes escalate into full-fledged 'communal wars', this book underlines the dynamic interplay between locals and outsiders, while also highlighting civilian agency under conditions of exceptional duress. With this important and timely study based on extensive fieldwork in Nigeria and Indonesia, Krause succeeds in furthering our understanding of political violence.’

Stathis Kalyvas - Gladstone Professor of Government, University of Oxford

‘Krause’s analysis of communal violence in Nigeria and Indonesia makes an important contribution to our understanding of instances when non-violence trumps hatred in ethno-religious conflicts. Her work importantly advances our understanding of how peaceful communities and their institutional capacity emerge, and how people preserve non-violence in the context of a changing conflict zone.’

Kristen Monroe - University of California, Irvine

‘This is an excellent book: precisely the kind of detailed, field-based analysis needed for a deeper understanding of the nature and dynamics of communal conflict. The book sheds an important light on the ways in which populations and communities caught up in war adapt and respond to the exceptional circumstances in which they find themselves. Krause has made an important contribution to the field.’

Mats Berdal - King’s College London

'In this fascinating study, Jana Krause turns conflict studies on its head: rather than only asking why violence breaks out, she asks why violence did not occur in some communities. Based on exceptional fieldwork, this eloquent book points to the power of local leadership and collective agency. In a field of study that can sometimes write individual actors out of the story, Krause's analysis brings people, community, and agency back in. Hers is a remarkable study that has lessons for scholars, students, and policymakers alike.'

Scott Straus - Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Political Science and International Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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