Food Riots, Urbanization, and Mass Killing Campaigns: Indonesia and Malaysia

  • Bumba MukherjeeEmail author
  • Ore Koren


We analyze two additional cases in this chapter: authoritarian Indonesia and nondemocratic Malaysia. We begin this chapter by analyzing the Indonesian case. We first show that Indonesia was characterized by relatively high levels of urban development over most of its nondemocratic spell. Unlike Pakistan, however, Indonesia did not experience a food crisis until the late 1990s. Considering that urban development levels in the country were high throughout the 1978–1998 period, the occurrence of a food crisis provides a “treatment” on which we can test our argument. As we did in our analysis of Pakistan, we rely on a combination of secondary historical sources and original within-country city year data on anti-regime riots and local mass killing campaigns to evaluate our claims. We then turn to conduct a historical analysis of Malaysia, our corollary case. We first present evidence and descriptive data showing that the level of urban development per capita in the country was relatively high over its entire nondemocratic spell. Unlike Pakistan and Indonesia, however, Malaysia experienced no food crises over the same period. Thus, Malaysia serves as our analysis’ contrarian case. We then assess this case in detail using historical process to evaluate whether the absence of the food crisis “treatment” in the context of high urban development influenced the probability of local mass killing campaigns in the country.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political SciencePennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

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