On the Transnational Interaction Between Nationalist and Cosmopolitan Actors - The West Papua Example

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: As a reaction to the failing decolonization process in West Papua, Indonesia, in the 1960s, a domestic movement was created that demanded their right to an independent nation. In the decades to come, a transnational solidarity network responded to, and developed around, the West Papuan resistance. This essay takes its departure in the West Papuan solidarity network, a concept referring to different groups interacting transnationally to improve the situation in West Papua. Drawing from previous literature, as well as from reports and statements from activists, it concerns the interaction between groups expressing conflicting values, i.e. nationalism versus cosmopolitanism, however sharing a concern for the situation in West Papua. Identifying this particular interaction, and by using theories sprung from traditional social movement research as well as recent transnational activism research, this essay challenges the common assumption that activists within transnational advocacy networks are bound together by shared norms and values. Conclusions drawn from the analysis state that by strategically framing contention in ways resonating with domain solidarity discourses and by highlighting issues rather than values, activists expressing conflicting values can focus on the overall objective, thus enabling interaction.

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