Demographic Engineering and Displacement

  • Riwanto Tirtosudarmo


This chapter specifically observes the critical implications of interconnection between development, migration and conflict which occurred in the mid-1990s. As a result of a series of communal conflicts between migrants and local populations in several places like Sambas in West Kalimantan, Sampit in Central Kalimantan, Poso in Central Sulawesi and Ambon in Maluku, thousands of people were forced to migrate. These internally displaced people (IDPs) were mostly migrants from Java and Madura; many of them spontaneously migrate to look for better economic opportunities in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and other places in eastern Indonesia. As population distribution policy, or transmigration, became the major migration policy under the New Order government since mid-1970s, it constitutes a form of demographic engineering. The demographic engineering sets the momentum for the people to move voluntarily following migration paths and networks created by their fellows and relatives many of them previously moved under transmigration program. The causal effect relationships between transmigration and the burgeoning IDPs, as some observers have argued, are therefore only partially true.


Demographic engineering Transmigration Communal conflict IDPs Forced migration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riwanto Tirtosudarmo
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Society and CultureIndonesian Institute of SciencesJakartaIndonesia

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