The Threat of Small Things: Patterns of Repression and Mobilization Against Micro-Sized Groups in Indonesia
My dissertation investigates an oft-overlooked puzzle in the literature on ethnic and religious conflict: conflict involving groups constituting less than 1% of the population. Why, given the absence of political or economic threat, do micro-sized groups become targets of mobilization and repression? To answer this question, I use a novel geo-coded dataset of anti-Ahmadiyah and anti-Shi’a incidents in Indonesia to substantiate the puzzle and conducted 135 interviews with religious minorities, perpetrators, and politicians. I argue that micro-sized groups are seen as threatening when they visibly challenge the constitutive foundations of a group through the occupation of public space. When political entrepreneurs are incentivized to broadcast local contestations over public space to a larger audience, the micro-sized group becomes seen as a threat to the broader collective. In the case of Indonesia, these incentives were introduced by democratization and decentralization, which made local clientelist networks politically significant.
ARTICLES (Peer Reviewed):
Manuscripts in progress:
"The Threat of Small Things: The Occupation of Public Space and the Persecution of Micro-Sized Groups in Indonesia." Job Market Paper.
“Towards Active Reflexivity: Positionality and Practice in the Production of Knowledge” (with Aarjen Glas). In circulation.
“The Logic of Display” (with Lilach Gilady and Lahoma Thomas). In progress.