Special Seminar by Yuhki Tajima: “How Peace Prevails: Insurgent Cohesion and Fragmentation in Aceh, Indonesia”

Date and Time: 16:00-17:30 on July 5, 2023
Venue: Small Seminar Room II on the 3rd floor of the Inamori Foundation Memorial Building

Title: How Peace Prevails: Insurgent Cohesion and Fragmentation in Aceh, Indonesia
Speaker: Dr. Yuhki Tajima (Georgetown University)

Why do some peace processes succeed while others fail? In the aftermath of insurgent wars, peace agreements often fall apart during their implementation when states or former insurgents pull back from their commitments or when disaffected insurgents form splinter groups to continue armed struggle. In this talk, I adopt an organizational approach and argue that key variation in both the external and internal negotiations can be explained by the internal governance of insurgent organizations. In particular, insurgencies whose central leadership enjoy greater direct, rather than indirect, control over foot soldiers will be able to ensure greater internal cohesion, allowing them to hold states more accountable and maintain internal discipline of the rank-and-file by providing insurgent leaders with the coercive leverage to better negotiate both externally and internally. Unit-level variation within insurgencies in the degree of direct control can explain variation in both the incidence of postwar violence and the distribution of rents. In this chapter, I examine original survey data from the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Indonesia to show how such variation in direct control can explain postwar variation in violence and rents, thereby allowing them to maintain cohesion and implement their 2005 peace agreement with the Indonesian government.