The Cultural Dimension of Peace: Decentralization and by Birgit Bräuchler

By Birgit Bräuchler

This examine outlines the rising cultural flip in Peace experiences and offers a severe knowing of the cultural measurement of reconciliation. Taking an anthropological view on decentralization and peacebuilding in Indonesia, it units new criteria for an interdisciplinary examine box.

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Such freezing can easily imply the demise of ‘traditional’ systems. As outlined in more detail below, it is flexibility that makes so-called traditions and customary law survive, because it enables them to dynamically adapt to new situations, eliminate obsolete elements, and incorporate new elements without ever renouncing a group’s identity (compare Kohl 2009). Sally Falk Moore (1986: xv, 39, 317) describes customary law as a ‘cultural construct with political implications’ and ‘a set of ideas embedded in relationships that are historically shifting’ and undergoing constant negotiations and modifications.

In line with other anthropologists, Montagu argues that the kind of aggressive behavior is culturally determined (Orywal 1996: 15). The prominent anthropologist Margaret Mead (2000: 20) interprets conflict and war as inventions and constructs, similar to any other societal institutions such as ‘writing, marriage, cooking our food instead of eating it raw, trial by jury, or burial of the dead and so on’. According to Mead, different societies find different ways to handle certain situations, and sometimes this is war (21).

Moreover, they often act as arbitrators for settling community conflicts. In traditional Fijian philosophy, for example, ‘a chief is the foremost “protector” and “peacemaker” of all those who reside within his or her traditional area of jurisdiction’ (Durutalo 2003: 170). However, traditional leaders’ sociocultural embeddedness is also problematic. Such elites might not only use their position to exploit resources, but their impartiality might not be a given or they might become corrupt (Fuest 2010: 23–28, Stevens 2001: 128).

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