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Internal Migration

Challenges in Governance and Integration

Edited By Shane Joshua Barter and William Ascher

Internal Migration: Challenges in Governance and Integration focuses on the challenges associated with internal migration across the developing world. While international migration captures significant attention, less attention has been paid to those migrating within recognized national borders. The sources of internal migration are not fundamentally different from international migration, as migrants may be pushed by violence, disasters, state policies, or various opportunities. Although they do not cross international borders, they may still cross significant internal borders, with cultural differences and perceived state favoritism generating a potential for "sons of the soil" conflicts. As citizens, internal migrants are in theory to be provided legal protection by host states, however this is not always the case, and sometimes their own states represent the cause of their displacement. The chapters in this book explain how international organizations, host states, and host communities may navigate the many challenges associated with internal migration.

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7. “Adopting Migrants as Brothers and Sisters”—Fictive Kinship as a Mechanism of Conflict Resolution and Conflict Prevention in Lampung, Indonesia (Isabelle Côté)


7. “Adopting Migrants as Brothers and Sisters”—Fictive Kinship as a Mechanism of Conflict Resolution and Conflict Prevention in Lampung, Indonesia

Isabelle Côté

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Situated at the southernmost tip of the island of Sumatra, a mere 24 km from the island of Java, the Indonesian province of Lampung has long served as a host region to large numbers of organized and spontaneous inter-provincial movements. Decades of population inflows have drastically affected Lampung’s population density, its geographic distribution, and its ethnic composition. In 1920, the local Lampungese, which comprises both the Sai Batin and the Pepadun,1 were the dominant group, at approximately 64 per cent of the population. Ninety years later, the 2010 census revealed that the tables had turned and that the Javanese population represented 64 per cent of the population while the Lampungese had been reduced to only 13.5 per cent (Ananta et al. 2015, 99).

This unprecedented change in the ethnic composition of Lampung should have transformed the province into a prime candidate for ethnic conflict and/or violent clashes between ethnically distinct local people and newly arrived migrants—what Myron Weiner (1978) coined “Sons of the Soil” (SoS) conflict. But while violent conflicts pitting Lampungese against transmigrants and spontaneous migrants have, on occasion, taken place, these were generally fewer and smaller in scale than those occurring elsewhere in Indonesia, notably in Papua and Riau (Côté 2014a&b). How did Lampung avoid...

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