IB 2021/06 Sorcery Accusation-Related Violence in PNG Part 6: Catalysts of Accusation and Violence

Cover of In Brief 2021/06 Sorcery Accusation-Related Violence in PNG Part 6: Catalysts of Accusation and Violence

Author/s (editor/s):

Miranda Forsyth, Ibolya Losoncz, Philip Gibbs, Fiona Hukula, William Kipongi

Publication year:

2021

Publication type:

In Brief

This is the sixth In Brief on the findings from a quantitative analysis of sorcery accusation-related violence (SARV) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The authors report on an incident database of recorded SARV cases (including incidents of accusation with no physical violence and those that involved violence) in four provinces over a four-and-a-half year period (January 20161–June 2020). Here, they reflect on what they have learnt about the factors that catalyse accusations of sorcery and consider which factors are salient in causing accusations to turn into violence. The authors consider three dimensions of the landscape in which the potential of SARV is situated:

  1. Conducive structural factors — essential or conducive structural factors relevant to the development of SARV;
  2. Proximate factors — shorter term, localised factors that provide the enabling environment; and
  3. Trigger events that are closely connected with actual accusation.

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