Autonomy in the Pursuit of Peace: Negotiating Territorial Accommodation in Indonesia and the Philippines

Kent Eaton*, Sarah Yi-Yun Shair-Rosenfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholarship on the advisability of territorial accommodation in conflict-torn societies prioritises attention to the political and identity-based factors that fuel societal divisions and often complicate the success of such forms of accommodation. Yet these divisions are themselves shaped by the boundaries that delineate who lives within the territory being accommodated. Here we focus on the critical question of whether the borders of the territorial unit to potentially receive autonomy are clearly demarcated when peace is established or, instead, form an essential and continued part of the post-conflict space. Where demarcation remains unsettled, elites will encourage perceptions of societal differences – among identity groups, insurgent factions, and political networks – that subsequently lead to conflict continuation or re-emergence. To evaluate this argument, we leverage two similar cases – Aceh in Indonesia and Mindanao in the Philippines – where much of the conventional wisdom fails to explain divergent outcomes in trajectories of peace and conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Early online date11 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the University’s Research Publications and Open Access policy.


  • autonomy
  • territory
  • internal armed conflict
  • peace
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines

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