The Politics of Papua Project at the University of Warwick conducts research and provides informed political analysis to policymakers, in order to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict in West Papua. We collaborate with researchers around the world, including the Papuan University Cenderawasih. Our research has been endorsed by several policymakers and politicians, including the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP.
West Papua, comprising the two easternmost provinces of Indonesia, covers the western part of the island of New Guinea, bordering Papua New Guinea to the east. Since 1969, West Papua has been part of Indonesia. However, a movement in West Papua led by Indigenous Papuans asserts an ongoing right to self-determination, based on evidence that the so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’ consultation by which West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia was coercive and did not meet international standards. The ongoing conflict in the region, between the Indonesian military and Indigenous Papuans, is estimated to have killed at least a hundred thousand Papuans. Concerns have been expressed about human rights violations and lack of media access to the region.
The enduring challenge in the region is how to resolve the conflict in West Papua and how to overcome political and economic obstacles to development in Papua. Our aim is to provide informed and rigorous academic analysis, in collaboration with Papuan and other researchers, that can help all parties move closer to a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the conflict, and to help build institutions to support development in West Papua. To this end, the project has a strong practical focus, engaging closely with British and International MPs and other policy-makers in order to best inform future decision-making on the issue.
The project team includes Keith Hyams, Marinella Capriati, Lisa Tilley, and Connor Woodman. It has received funding from the University of Warwick Impact Fund, the ESRC Impact Accelerator Account, and the Global Partnerships Fund.
The members of the Politics of Papua Project are happy to provide policy advice, briefings or other forms of assistance to policymakers; interviews and articles for media organisations; and information, talks and presentations for NGOs and advocacy groups. Please email papua at wawick dot ac dot uk.
Politics of Papua Assessment Report
In April 2016 the Politics of Papua Project published a report on the conflict in West Papua, which can be downloaded from the link below. The report can be freely distributed and used, but please notify the Politics of Papua Project of any uses or citations of the report for impact assessment purposes, by emailing papua at wawick dot ac dot uk.
Assessment Report on the Conflict in the West Papua Region of Indonesia: An Overview of the Issues and Recommendations for the UK and the International Community
The international version of the report is available here.
The report was launched in parliament on 3rd May 2016. Participants at the event included Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Prime Minister of Tonga Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva, the Vanuatu Minister for Foreign Affairs Bruno Leingkone, the Vanuatu Minister for Lands Ralph Regenavu, the Solomon Islands Melanesia Spearhead Group Special Envoy on West Papua Rex Horoi, the Governor of Oro District (Papua New Guinea) Gary Juffa, Andrew Smith MP, Nick Brown MP, and Lord Harries of Pentregarth.