Urban-Rural Connections: Banda Aceh Through Conflict, Tsunami, and Decentralization

  • Michelle Ann Miller
  • Tim Bunnell
Part of the ARI - Springer Asia Series book series (ARI, volume 3)


Indonesia’s northwesternmost province of Aceh has been the scene of one of the most catastrophic natural disasters and large-scale reconstruction efforts in human history following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. It has also been the site of one of Asia’s most protracted armed separatist conflicts, as well as a uniquely successful case study on the global map of conflict resolution. Since 2005, when an internationally mediated peace process in Helsinki led to resolution of the Aceh conflict, the province has become the subject of Indonesia’s biggest experiment with democratic decentralization via the conferral, in 2006, of “self-government” to Aceh within Indonesia. Many scholars use the provincial capital of Banda Aceh as a base, not least because of the city’s historical and contemporary relevance as a center of important events and moments of transformation. Yet, to date, little attention has been paid to Banda Aceh itself as the primary unit of analysis. In this chapter, we provide a Banda Aceh-centered analysis of transformations within and about Aceh since 1998. This is done by tracing the changing position of the city provincially, nationally, and internationally, as well as internally in its relations with other (mostly rural) parts of Aceh. In so doing, we bring into view largely overlooked urban-rural cleavages and interrelations.


Mass Grave Indian Ocean Tsunami Indonesian Government Special Autonomy Counterinsurgency Campaign 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asia Research InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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