‘Greed and grievance’ or ‘recognition and redistribution’? Rethinking resource conflict in Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) and Papua (Indonesia) (16758)
This paper probes the justice concerns at the heart of two conflicts associated with natural resources: Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) and Papua (Indonesia). The paper connects the ‘greed and grievance’ debate to Nancy Fraser’s (2008) work on ‘Scales of Justice’. Drawing in particular on Fraser’s analytical distinction between claims for recognition and redistribution, the paper reveals how protests over status inequality can transform into claims for redistribution. For example, opposition to resource projects might begin with a demand for recognition as the ‘original owners of the land’ but then escalate into demands for a greater distribution of material rewards through a huge compensation payout. In spite of this, proposed methods for avoiding resource conflict have a tendency to focus on better management of resource revenues (e.g. revenue sharing regimes) rather than the symbolic roles played by extractive projects in cultural marginalization and repression. The paper gives the example of the connections between mining and historical injustice, particularly with reference to decolonization and the politicization of identity.