- The Social Life of Conflict Narratives: Violent Antagonists, Imagined Histories, and Foreclosed Futures in Aceh, Indonesia
- Anthropological Quarterly
- George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research
- Volume 80, Number 4, Fall 2007
- pp. 961-995
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- Additional Information
Through an analysis of violent conflict in Aceh, Indonesia, this article develops a series of principles for analyzing conflicts that appear to be intractable, noting how certain conflict narratives and interventions based on them participate in extending conflict. The claim that the separatist rebels called "GAM" exist is treated not as historical fact but as an inscrutable assertion that retrojects and projects the group's continuous existence, allowing political violence to be repeatedly reconstructed through convoluted collusions between antagonists whose own power is each predicated on the existence of the other.