Factions and Faith

  • Gerry van KlinkenEmail author


In the mid-1950s, the record goes silent for about five years. When Jan Djong reemerges, he is diminished. No longer an agitator for rural citizenship rights, he is a client to powerful local bosses, who dispense government patronage. Urban elites have regrouped and are running a factional game fueled by state resources they control. Elite patrons have captured local judicial institutions. They have also captured all the political parties that should connect ordinary people to an impersonal central state, except the communist party.

Since the French Revolution, people all over the world have believed in the modern state as the ultimate repository of their rights. But when patrons undermine rights, or when states allow that to happen, they betray that belief. Rights do not exist when the state is embedded in society.

Yet local factional tensions are by themselves not a powder keg of violence. By the end of the chapter, Jan Djong has lost his last factional fight, and is isolated and alone in his village.


Patron-client relations Rent-seeking Patronage Factionalism Corruption Religion Catholicism Global south Indonesia 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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