Article

Claiming the Grounds for Reform: Agrarian and Environmental Movements in Indonesia

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Abstract

This essay examines the convergences, tensions and mutual influences of agrarian and environmental movements in Indonesia and their connections to transnational movements under state-led development and neoliberal governance regimes. The authors argue that environmental movements of the last quarter of the twentieth century affected the strategies, struggles, mutual relations with, and public discourses of resurgent agrarian movements in diverse ways. Environmental movements had significant influences on national policy, law and practice within a decade of their emergence under the state-led development regime of President Suharto. Environmental activists used the appearance of technical ‘apolitical’ concerns to their advantage. They mobilized at multiple scales, targeting laws and other institutions of state power at the same time as organizing the grassroots. The repression of the Suharto regime forced agrarian reform activists underground, while environmental issues were mainstreamed. Agrarian movements in Indonesia today, under a decentralized regime dominated by neoliberal policies, have faced new opportunities and constraints due to national and transnational influences of environmental and agrarian reform discourses and networks. We show how these influences have changed the political fields within which Indonesian agrarian movement groups operate: forming, shifting and struggling over critical alliances.

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... Colonial and post-colonial governments appropriated vast forest areas for resource exploitation and conservation. Today, indigenous communities and peasant organizations consider the occupation of corporate and state-owned plantation estates and conservation areas as a legitimate response to the dispossessions of the colonial and post-colonial state Lukas, 2014;Peluso et al., 2008). ...
... The formation of the state forest estate (kawasan hutan) in Indonesia and the forest reserve (reserva forestal) in Colombia were state territorialization projects aimed at claiming land and stabilizing the national territory by allocating land in frontier areas to citizens and companies, challenging pre-existing authority and property relations Ortiz, 1984: 210). In both countries, this process was notably violent and was characterized by multiple periods of primitive accumulation (Del Cairo et al., 2014;Escobar, 2003;Gómez et al., 2015;Hein et al., 2016;Peluso, 1995;Peluso et al., 2008). In Indonesia, after the fall of former Indonesian president Suharto at the end of the 1990s, power constellations changed the scalar structure of the state, and this state territorialization project came under serious pressure driven by protests from customary communities, peasant movements and local governments Hein et al., 2016;Peluso et al., 2008). ...
... In both countries, this process was notably violent and was characterized by multiple periods of primitive accumulation (Del Cairo et al., 2014;Escobar, 2003;Gómez et al., 2015;Hein et al., 2016;Peluso, 1995;Peluso et al., 2008). In Indonesia, after the fall of former Indonesian president Suharto at the end of the 1990s, power constellations changed the scalar structure of the state, and this state territorialization project came under serious pressure driven by protests from customary communities, peasant movements and local governments Hein et al., 2016;Peluso et al., 2008). Rescaling widened the agency of local political authorities, creating the momentum to exercise de facto control over parts of the state forest territory. ...
Book
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Indonesia’s commitment to reducing land-based greenhouse gas emissions significantly includes the expansion of conservation areas, but these developments are not free of conflicts. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of agrarian conflicts in the context of the implementation of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and forest carbon offsetting in Indonesia, a country where deforestation is a major issue. The author analyzes new kinds of transnational agrarian conflicts which have strong implications for global environmental justice in the REDD+ pilot province of Jambi on the island of Sumatra. The chapters cover: the rescaling of the governance of forests; privatization of conservation; and the transnational dimensions of agrarian conflicts and peasants' resistance in the context of REDD+. The book builds on an innovative conceptual approach linking political ecology, politics of scale and theories of power. It fills an important knowledge and research gap by focusing on the socially differentiated impacts of REDD+ and new forest carbon offsetting initiatives in Southeast Asia, providing a multi-scalar perspective. It is aimed at scholars in the areas of political ecology, human geography, climate change mitigation, forest and natural resource management, as well as environmental justice and agrarian studies.
... When Suharto fell under mass protests in Jakarta in late 1998 an archipelago-wide surge of state and plantation land reclamation ensued. En masse tens of thousands of landless people, peasants, and indigenous nations took to the land (Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). In acts of protest they destroyed oil palm, rubber, cocoa, coffee, teak, and pine plantations belonging to state and corporate landlords (Afiff et al. 2005;Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). ...
... En masse tens of thousands of landless people, peasants, and indigenous nations took to the land (Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). In acts of protest they destroyed oil palm, rubber, cocoa, coffee, teak, and pine plantations belonging to state and corporate landlords (Afiff et al. 2005;Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). Agriculturalists planted their own selection of smallholder crops: coffee, rice, cassava, banana, rubber, oil palm, mahogany, avocado, and clove. ...
... These collectivities are attractive to social movement organizations because they require bringing people into productive interaction. The Indonesian sociologist Aditjondro was one of the first scholars to notice the emergence of the idea of 'polycultures' within the agrarian justice movement, during the late New Order (1998; quoted by Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). Aditjondro thought polycultures to be diverse agricultural assemblages of many species of life, of which agroforests are one form. ...
Article
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Over the last two decades a group of rural workers on Sumatra's Aren Volcano worked with a self-proclaimed 'peasant' union to occupy and rehabilitate a bankrupt industrial ranch and plantation. Women and men worked together to cultivate diverse, economically-valuable agricultural forests on this erstwhile industrial site. In reclaiming a zone of ruined industrial production for small-scale natural agriculture, Aren's laborers transformed themselves into agriculturalists and the land into a smallholder agroforest landscape. I consider how the transformations that unfolded in Aren are agroecological because rural workers harnessed ecological process to create their smallholder plots, and political because they addressed issues of collective land control, identity, and work. I find the linkage of these two concepts, ecologically-attune smallholder livelihood and social mobilization, to be the source of the more than two-decades long durability of this rural workers' land reclamation.
... In a sector increasingly dominated by transnational corporations, the country's predominantly smallholder farms operating with limited mechanization struggles to meet quality standards and compete on the world market (Manners 2014, p. 4). The adoption of intensive farming practices, together with impacts of climate change and unfavourable land-use policies, has led to shortages of both water and fertile land for agriculture (Peluso et al. 2008). Further, challenges arise from ongoing population growth and urbanization. ...
... The peasant union Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) was officially founded as a federation of eleven regional peasant unions in 1998; SPI became a unitary organisation with individual members in 2007 (Peluso et al. 2008, p. 392, Serikat Petani Indonesia 2008. Reflecting its close affiliation with the world's most influential transnational peasant movement La Via Campesina (ibid, 389), SPI embeds organic agriculture within an anti-neoliberal discourse of food sovereignty. ...
Article
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This paper contributes to the discourse on food policy, particularly in relation to organic farming in Indonesia. Organic farming was first adopted by non-state actors in Indonesia, by faith-based organisations and then by small farmer associations, while the state support for organic agriculture followed at a later date. The three groups, represented in this study by three case studies, adopt different positions with regard to the definition of organic agriculture and its relevance to food self-sufficiency, food security and food sovereignty. For Bina Sarana Bhakti Foundation (BSB), organic farming is both a spiritual worldview and a practical philosophy. For the Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI), organic agriculture foremost is a political tool to resist global capitalist agriculture. Despite their very different outlooks, both these two civil society organisations see organic agriculture as a post-materialist enterprise directed towards explicitly social-political goals. By contrast, the government’s engagement in organic agriculture, although laced with evocative phrases such as “back to nature”, is driven primarily by visions of developing a new niche market for Indonesian exports. The Indonesian State adopts a one-dimensional productivist definition that excludes different meanings and traditions of organic farming. The reduction of the meaning of ‘organic’ to ‘organically certified products’ excludes farmers who consider that they are practicing organic agriculture. We conclude that there is a strong case to be made that the State should relax its regulatory grip on the organic sector, to create room for sorely needed innovation and cooperation among the different actors involved.
... Critical agrarian scholarship significantly contributed to the study and mapping of the resurgence of rural social movements across the world as a response from below to the profound socio-economic and political changes brought about by neoliberal globalization in the 1980s and onwards. Studies from around the globe have shown how agrarian restructuring, structural adjustment programmes and growing state authoritarianism contributed to the dramatic deterioration of the conditions of social reproduction for millions of peasants and rural workers pushing them to the desperate search for political and economic alternatives (Borras et al. 2008b;Edelman 2008;Moyo and Yeros 2005;Peluso et al. 2008). This scholarship contributed to squarely situating the question of rural social movements within the frame of the political economy of agrarian change, reintegrating debates over capitalism and class conflict as crucial elements in the analysis of their origins, class composition, ideology and praxis. ...
... Critical agrarian scholarship on agrarian movements allowed to capture the dynamics, origins and forms of a new wave of peasant activism, intersecting at local, national and transnational levels (Borras 2008;Desmarais 2007;Edelman 2008;Peluso et al. 2008). In what follows, I will provide a discussion of some of the critical elements (origins, class, ideology and praxis) of some of the most influential rural social movements such as the MST and KPL. ...
Chapter
The chapter explores the significance and relevance of studying rural social movements, and their coalescence into transnational agrarian movements, from a critical agrarian studies perspective. It analyzes their emergence through agrarian political economy lenses and situates them in the context of the growing contestation to neoliberal authoritarianism. It argues that understanding the genealogy of rural social movements allows grappling with a plurality of responses from below to capitalist restructuring of the countryside while simultaneously reaffirming the centrality of the agrarian questions.
... The environmental movement had been tolerated during the previous three decades of authoritarian rule (Di Gregorio, 2014, p. 382). However, after 1999, environmental lobby groups and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) stepped up political demands for change (Peluso, Afiff, & Fauzi Rachman, 2008). Indonesia is a 'forest-rich' nation with a long history of dispossession of forest areas for the sake of 'development' (Di Gregorio, 2014). ...
... Indonesia is a 'forest-rich' nation with a long history of dispossession of forest areas for the sake of 'development' (Di Gregorio, 2014). It is not surprising therefore that in the new millennium the country is characterized by a multi-faceted environmental justice movement fighting for recognition of local forest rights (Nomura, 2009;Peluso et al., 2008). As Della Porta and Fabbri point out, 'local contentious politics tend to make frequent references to the ways in which territory is used and misused ' (2016, p. 185). ...
Article
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This paper traces the ontogenesis of a specific environmental campaign in Indonesia. A highly effective struggle to save the local city forest was instigated by young activists in Bandung who had previously been involved with Greenpeace Indonesia. The data comes from interviews, a focus group and ethnographic fieldwork. The paper illustrates the point that when youth get involved in a highly structured environmental protest movement like Greenpeace, the skills, network resources and confidence they gain there can later be deployed to great advantage in a local conservation campaign. That phenomenon can be understood using the notion of radical habitus derived from the theoretical work of Pierre Bourdieu. Its creation was reinforced by the dispositions developed through the young activists’ previous involvement in Greenpeace training and activism. In the end, the development of the radical ecological habitus of young activists is formative for shaping a radical disposition, which can be deployed in the domain of protest.
... The fall of the thirty years of dictator manages under Soeharto, 1998-known as Reformation Erademocratization and decentralization laws received. People's interest for more terrific distinctive freedom, democracy, equality, and equity for everybody [9]; social developments jumped up and voiced cases to land and rights out in the open ways [10,11]; provided regional governments with the power to transform national laws through local laws. Provincial and district governments have used their new authority to adopt local laws. ...
... Throughout Indonesian independence (1945), the implementation of Musyawarah Mufakat at the level of government has experienced a change of function, and even since the Reformation Era (1998) has already switched to the western democratic system [1][2][3][4][9][10][11]. In the meantime, examining the political culture of Indonesia is in decrease. ...
Article
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Musyawarah Mufakat is a form of Indonesian native culture of consensus building. It has been adopted as one of the foundational philosophical theories of the Indonesian state (Pancasila) and become a method of decision making system in the Indonesian government. The traditional system, however, could be inconsistent with more modernized and western democratic system, which has been introduced especially in urban areas through the period of Indonesian independence and democratization, known as the Reformation Era. Previous studies have not explained clearly the characteristic of Musyawarah Mufakat and examined its association with the concept of modern democratization. In this research, we investigated the real situation of Musyawarah Mufakat in rural areas and explored relevant characteristic of Musyawarah Mufakat through qualitative interview and observation on Musyawarah Mufakat in three areas in Java Island (Osing people, Tenggerese people and Kampung Naga people) and literature reviews on Musyawarah Mufakat. We then considered the way to realize a modernized decision making in accordance with the traditional style of decision making; what kind of conflict can occur when the local government ignores Musyawarah Mufakat, how to settle the conflict between democracy and Musyawarah Mufakat, and what decision makers should pay attention when making and implementing policy in Indonesia were discussed.
... I observed how similar movements remained at a distance from each other, roughly holding on to the boundaries between the urban and the rural. Hence, the (post-) New Order agrarian, environmental, and indigenous people movements root their struggles mainly in access to land (Peluso, Afif and Rachman, 2008;Li, 2001). On the other hand, the urban poor movement anchors their campaigns in housing issues, while the labour movement roots its campaigns in issues of minimum wage and safety conditions for workers in the industrial sector (Aditjondro, 2003a: 169-175;Sidik et al., 2015). ...
Thesis
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This thesis aims to inform critical thinking of and acting on flood events and flood infrastructure development in Jakarta, to call attention to how they are deeply political. It explains how both the occurrence of flooding and the development of flood infrastructure in contemporary Jakarta are partly the result of, and in turn help to create a particular trajectory of Indonesia’s (post-) New Order regime (1965-1998 and 1998-now) uneven urbanization. Equipped with ‘political ecology of urbanization’ explanatory framework and ‘ecologized dialectical method’, this thesis repoliticizes, and opens possibilities on how to think through and confront, the uneven urbanization of (post-) New Order regime in its relation to the production of Jakarta’s flood events and development of flood infrastructures involving human and nonhuman in the city and beyond, above and below ground.
... The Indonesian civil society movement in water sector is relatively new compared to the other movement in labour, peasant and environmental sectors (see Peluso et al., 2008;Beers, 2013). It became nationally visible in 2003 1 when some non-governmental organizations, mainly based in Jakarta, consolidated themselves to oppose the draft Law on Water Resources in 2004, with which water was considered as private goods rather than public one. ...
Article
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Discourses on the right to water have shaped opposition movement against the market-oriented approach to water governance in Indonesia. We documented how global debates against water privatization influenced discourses in this sector since 1998, and how activists utilized the discourses in the context of national and provincial water policy arenas. Our observations and analyses are centred on the decision of the Indonesian Constitutional Court February 2015 to annul the 2004 Law on Water Resources (UU Sumber Daya Air of 7 year 2004). This was a legal umbrella under which private water concessions were sanctioned. We seek to understand discourse formations before and after the decision that helped to end partial institutions of water privatization in Indonesia. By deploying textual-oriented discourse analysis of the pros and cons of the right-to-water and market-oriented approach, this article seeks to reveal the trajectory of Indonesian water social movement against privatization. The sources of analysis are Indonesian leading newspapers, grey literatures – or literatures that are produced outside the academic and commercial publishing, and scientific publications. This article shows that there are limits to the use of the right-to-water discourse among the activists, which lead to ‘two critical disjunctions’. First, overly-focused on the normative struggles against the privatization of piped-water services has hindered more progressive, community-oriented responses to different policy changes within the water sectors that remains market-oriented in feature. Second, consequently, social movement in this sector has been disconnected from the more recent agendas of global struggles for just water governance.
... Forest governance in Indonesia had been undergoing a process of government centralization since the Dutch colonial period. This process dramatically intensified with the Basic Forestry Law (Act 5 of 1967), which established state control over the archipelago's forests, comprising more than 70% of the nation's total land area (Peluso, 1992;Peluso et al., 2008;Peluso, 2006a, 2006b). Indonesia's logging boom arrived in these communities in the 1980s, bringing with it local jobs. ...
Article
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A core component of the Paris Agreement is reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Originally envisioned as a form of payments for ecosystem services, REDD+ has played out in a myriad of ways on the ground. Examining the transition of REDD+ from theory to practice, this article provides an ethnographic account of local experiences with the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership in Indonesia. Challenges with the invisibility of “carbon” as a resource—both literally and figuratively—was a common theme as community members questioned the feasibility of carbon as a commodity and expressed concerns that if REDD+ did succeed, their land rights might be usurped by more powerful interests. Concurrent to REDD+, communities were navigating imminent threats from forest fires and oil palm expansion. Village government leaders saw REDD+ as a potential buffer against these threats, but due to a history of failed development interventions they proceeded carefully in REDD+. Because the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership was funded by bi-lateral aid, it was less susceptible to fluctuations in the carbon market but more vulnerable to changes in Australia’s administration and aid priorities, which ultimately led to the project’s closure in 2014. Since the project’s closure, villages have experienced the expansion of oil palm plantations onto community lands, and local forests and croplands have been engulfed in massive peatland fires—both threats that REDD+ was designed to confront. A key lesson from the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership is that if the international community wants to work with local communities to make a lasting impact, it is essential that their engagement be built upon commitment, transparency, and trust.
... This increasingly damaged and hazardous post-mine landscape, together with the weak, under-specified and poorly enforced nature of national laws on mine-site reclamation, have influenced social movement activity. While movement organisations' agendas and priorities clearly vary [82], and there has been significant debate among organisations regarding the most appropriate strategies to pursue, general patterns can be discerned. In earlier years, movements had assumed more contentious positions, and primarily aimed to block mining and to advocate for community rights to property and consultation. ...
... 14 Refer to Deere and Royce (forthcoming) and Stephen (1997). 15 See, for example, Peluso et al. (2008) and Baviskar (2004). 16 Refer to Newell (2008), Scoones (2008) and Otero (2008). ...
Article
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Agrarian transformations within and across countries have been significantly and dynamically altered during the past few decades compared to previous eras, provoking a variety of reactions from rural poor communities worldwide. The changed and changing agrarian terrain has also influenced recent rethinking in critical inquiry into the nature, scope, pace and direction of agrarian transformations and development. This can be seen in terms of theorising, linking with development policy and politics, and thinking about methodologies. This collection of essays on key perspectives, frameworks and methodologies is an effort to contribute to the larger rethinking. The following paper introduces the collection.
... As a biodiversity hotspot, Indonesia has long been a target region for projects and campaigns of transnational conservation organizations. Conservation NGOs managed community-based conservation projects and were successful in lobbying for national parks and environmentally friendly natural resource management regulations (Hein, 2019;Peluso, Affif, & Rachman, 2008;Wells, Guggenheim, Khan, Wardojo, & Jepson, 1999). However, in contrast to many Latin American countries, NGOs and private companies were not able to establish larger private protected areas because the forest law did not permit a 'non-productive use' of forest concessions (Hein, 2019). ...
Article
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The growing demand for natural rubber is increasingly threatening biodiversity and forest ecosystems. Recently, the French Michelin Group started a cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to establish environmentally and socially sustainable ‘model’ rubber plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. The framing of Michelin’s tyre production as ‘eco-friendly’ and their purported ‘sustainable’ rubber cultivation contradict with statements by villagers living around Michelin’s plantation in Jambi Province, Sumatra, who are reporting environmental destruction and land tenure conflicts. Conceptually, we build on political ecology and critical human geography perspectives to identify conflicts and ambiguities related to sustainability claims, deforestation and dispossession. Empirically, we draw on qualitative research in a village affected by the plantation. We confront and deconstruct the discursive framing of sustainable rubber production with our empirical findings. We show how the plantation restricts access to land and instead of providing additional income, is actually limiting development opportunities.
... In the late 1990s, a global financial crisis impacted Indonesia's economy. The New Order regime led by President Suharto came to an abrupt closure after three decades of authoritarian rule and Indonesia underwent a major transition from state-led development to a decentralized system managed through neoliberal policies (Peluso et al. 2008). Drawing on audiovisual data recorded in a peripheral region of upland Sulawesi, I examine the re-articulation of the interplay between speech forms and forms of political rationality that followed this institutional shift. ...
Book
Written by a wide range of highly regarded scholars and exciting junior ones, this book critiques and operationalizes contemporary thinking in the rapidly expanding field of linguistic anthropology. It does so using cases studies of actual everyday language practices from an extremely understudied, yet incredibly important area of the global South, Indonesia. In doing so, it provides a rich set of studies that model and explain complex linguistic anthropological analysis in engaging and easily understood ways. As a book that is both accessible for undergraduate students and enlightening for graduate students through to senior professors, this book problematizes a wide range of assumptions. The diversity of settings and methodologies used in this book surpass many recent collections that attempt to address issues of (super)diversity and how to go about addressing contemporary processes of diversification given rapid ongoing social change. In focusing on the trees, so to speak, the collection as a whole also enables readers to see the forest. This approach provides a rare insight into relationships between everyday language practices, social change, and the ever present and ongoing processes of nation building.
... Starting from the ineffectiveness of law and the existence of law policy, it can be explained that the cause of land function transfer from farming to non-farming has many reasons. The reasons are the reality of (1) the increasing intensity of population making the increasing necessity of land used for personal, like housing; (2) the tendency of landowner to place land from its economic value; (3) the intensity of industrialization insists the provision of relatively vast land for industry making the process forces the change of function from farming to industry; and (4) the high number of buyers/entrepreneur in building the industry and the interest of the owner to sell their lands [8]. ...
... The adat revival that emerged with Reformasi, and took on a new shape in post-Soeharto Indonesia, was above all a form of civil resistance against the power of the state (Li 2001;Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). Social justice advocates viewed the empowerment of local leaders and traditional institutions as a better alternative to state rule, which had failed its rural citizens. ...
Article
Through the discourse of indigeneity, rural communities around the world are joining a global network of rural justice seekers. By articulating grievances collectively, they demand state recognition while seeking support from NGOs and international development organisations. In Indonesia, the manifestation of indigenous ‘adat’ politics is no longer confined to the national struggle for the recognition of land rights, but instead, has proliferated into many localised short term ‘adat projects’. This introduction to the TAPJA special issue on adat demonstrates that both the rural poor and local elites can be the initiators or recipients of these adat projects but, at the current juncture, the latter are better positioned to benefit from such projects. The special issue shows that in Indonesia, where adat is often firmly entrenched in the state, the promotion of indigeneity claims can work in contradictory ways. Findings from across the special issue show that adat projects tend to reinforce the power of the state, rather than challenging it.
... In this context, land rights movements in plantations and large-scale farms in developing countries assume significance. Such movements have been examined in the coastal farms of Nicaragua (Gordon, Gurdián & Hale, 2003), tree plantations in Ghana (Zhang & Owiredu, 2007), eucalyptus plantations in Brazil (Krüger, 2012) and oil palm plantations in Indonesia (Peluso, Affeff & Rachman, 2008). Land movements are also emerging in southern India where tropical export commodities such as tea, coffee, rubber and spices are under productivity crisis and increasingly integrated in a buyer-driven value chain (Neilson & Pritchard, 2011). ...
Article
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Globally, increased investor interest in land is confronting various types of political mobilisations from communities at the grassroots level. This article examines the case study of a land occupation movement called Chengara struggle in the largest corporate plantation in southern India. The movement is led by the historically dispossessed scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities. The objective of the study is to understand the type of institutional transformation of property rights that the movement is calibrating. Institutional theory is used to determine the nature and direction of transformation using the framework of economic and political transaction costs. The article concludes that the central demand of the struggle for individual title deed has higher private gains for right-holders, but has overall negative gains for agricultural productivity. The article concludes that productivity-oriented demands to restructure land-use rights within plantations might converge in the land struggles of the future.
... Fast forward to the land arena in 2014, and political debate about the proper way to govern relations between land and population is being deflected into a technical project to amalgamate dozens of conflicting maps prepared by different government agencies and by self-defined indigenous communities onto one map. 2 Somehow, proponents seem to imagine, an upgrade in the technical infrastructure of land information will quell the heated political struggle that pits villagers against corporations and their state sponsors, and pits government agencies promoting plantations or mining against agencies with environmental mandates (Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). The 'one map project' is funded by transnational donors, especially those concerned to promote the climate-change related project to 'Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation' (REDD). ...
Chapter
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... Within these three periods, arguments making use of the agrarian justice concept were fielded throughout, but agrarian justice does not feature as prominently as environmental justice which, as Peluso, Afiff and Rachman (2008) describe, became the term of choice during the New Order as it allowed activists to team up with transnational environmental activists as well as with the national Ministry of the Environment and other government agencies that had to compete with the powerful Ministry of Forestry over matters of resource management. Following the end of New Order and the onset of reformasi, keadilan agraria features with a certain regularity in writings and debates on land reform, in which the current (and ongoing) revision of the Basic Agrarian Law (Undang-Undang Pokok Agraria, hereafter BAL) is an illustrative example (cf. ...
Article
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This paper presents a socio-legal consideration of the usage and role of the concept of ‘agrarian justice’ (keadilan agrarian) in the debates over access to natural resources in Indonesia. Agrarian justice has a limited but persistent presence in these discussions and by considering the concept within the context of the legal, political and societal developments taking place I seek to come to an understanding as to why such a broad concept is ostensibly used by so few only. I conclude that while the issues that agrarian justice pertains to are highly relevant, they are generally discussed using other denominators. Probably due to historical reasons and to the impractical level of abstraction inherent in ‘agrarian justice’.
... However, there has been a considerable amount of research on the environmental movement in Indonesia (e.g. Aditjondro 1990Aditjondro , 1998Colombijn 1998;Cribb 1988;Crosby 2013;Peluso et al. 2008). During the New Order of President Suharto , much social protest occurred under the guise of environmentalism. ...
... However, as fellow components of civil society, these two ideas met when discussing agrarian reform and natural resource management which later gave birth to the TAP MPR IX/2001. This joint working group formed a new phase in the trajectory of the relationship between agrarian movements and environmental movements in Indonesia (Peluso et al., 2008). ...
Article
In the context of civic life, inequality is a form of injustice in development. This imbalance has the potential for the emergence of conflicts between and inter three elements, namely: the state, public and private. Agrarian reform is one way to overcome this inequality. In practice, implementing agrarian reform is not a simple and easy thing to do. The prerequisites for agrarian reform, both substantive and technical, are things that must exist. In many cases, the implementation of agrarian reform actually has an impact on the worsening of people's conditions. This research takes the case of the implementation of the agrarian reform policy that was carried out in the era of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY). This research will answer questions related to how the politics of land policy implemented in Indonesia in the era of President SBY.
... As indicated above, the interviewees in Palembang were UNSRI students who were members of pro-environment groups on campus. Universities in Indonesia have a legacy of environmental activism (Aditjondro 1998;Setiawan and Hadi 2007;Peluso et al. 2008;Nomura and Suyono 2014). Yet there has been a general decline in broadbased student activism (see Weiss et al. 2012) since 1998. ...
... According to P. Whiteley, three main elements create social capital, namely trust, networks, and norms of society (Whiteley, 2015). Networks facilitate communication and interaction through a sense of trust and strengthen cooperation among communities (Peluso, Afiff, & Rachman, 2008). The sense of trust tend to lead to strong social networks but instead, it is fading as the results of the lack of network and communication with each other so that the community can not be controlled, especially in the effort to increase the environmental awareness of coastal communities (Kementrian Lingkungan Hidup Republik Indonesia/ Ministry of Environment and Forestry Republic of Indonesia, 1997). ...
Article
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This article aims to provied an overview of social capital bonding that is able to become a force to obtain an adaptive capacity of coastal communities in environmental conservation. The strength of this adaptive capacity becomes resilience and flexsibility in coastal communities. It is able to mobilize resources owned by coastal communities and modify institutions. This research takes locus and tempus in Tambak Lorok village, North Semarang subdistrict, Semarang City. This research uses a qualitative approach with the type of research is a case study, The technique of collecting data is done by observation and indepth interviews. On the preservation of the environment the community must increase awareness and manifest environmental concerns and the importance of environmental preservation for their survival. The type of social capital tied to the existence of trans social interaction between members and the norm for bonding social capital raises adaptive capacities namely cooperation togetherness and expertise in mobilizing collective resources in coastal communities. Resilience and flexibility in maintaining environmental preservation in coastal communities is a form of adaptive capacity that is carried out continuously.
... Social mobilization and localized resistance already were on the rise at the peak of the authoritarian rule by Suharto in the 1970s, similar to the South Korean case. However, more than their Korean counterparts, Indonesian environmental activists and technocrats were able to carve out more political space and in many ways aided resistance in other social sectors, particularly the agrarian movements and student movements which became critical forces in the ousting of Suharto at the end of 1990s (Peluso et al. 2008). ...
Preprint
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The central inquiry of this chapter is the relationship between political liberalization and the rise and development of environmental movement. The selection of the eight cases (China, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam) is guided by both the call for broad coverage of Asia and the logic of comparative politics so that this research will be able to generate a level of theoretical discussion, in addition to empirically mapping out environmental movements in Asia. In addition to outlining the main patterns of the environmental-political dual transformation, this research also discusses possible reasons for the initial synergy between political liberalization and environmental movement to fade away and the challenges of environmental protection for both young democracies and authoritarian regimes.
... Namun demikian, sebagai sesama komponen masyarakat sipil, kedua gagasan ini bertemu saat melakukan pembahasan pembaruan agraria dan pengelolaan sumber daya alam yang di kemudian hari melahirkan Tap MPR IX/2001. Kelompok kerja gabungan ini membentuk fase baru dalam trajectory hubungan antara gerakan agraria dan gerakan lingkungan di Indonesia (Peluso,et al., 2008). Seiring dengan perkembangan dan perdebatan di kalangan masyarakat sipil, pada sisi negara, keberadaan land reform juga menjadi salah satu bagian dari aktor kunci dalam penyusunan kebijakan agraria. ...
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Pengerahan segala sumber daya untuk menyelesaikan sebuah persoalan akan menjadi efektif dan efisien jika identifikasi sudah dilakukan dengan sangat baik bahkan harus sesempurna mungkin. Sebagai bagian dari identifikasi persoalan, buku ini kami yakini akan menyumbang pada efisiensi serta efektivitas pengerahan segala sumber daya yang tengah kita (Kementrian Agraria dan Tata Ruang/Badan Pertanahan Nasional) atau segenap pemangku kepentingan Dr. Ir. Senthot Sudirman, M.S Ketua Sekolah Tinggi Pertanahan Nasional (STPN)
... Intercropping plant includes long bean, tomato, cucumber, eggplant, and vegetables like kangkung, spinach, squash, and etc. Farmers plant them in the edged of farmland with certain space between main and intercropping plants (Peluso et al., 2008). The product of intercropping plant can be sold, in addition to being consumed daily. ...
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The era of globalization with the influx of free markets makes the work ethic in economic competition more intense and high. This research aimed to analyze work ethos and Sasak Islam religious behavior of agrarian community in Lingsar Village of Lombok Barat, Nusa Tenggara Barat. Sasak Islam religious behavior and work ethos of agrarian community in farming practice was the unit of analysis in this qualitative research with case study approach. Data collection was carried out through observation, in-depth interview, and documentation he was appointed by Lingsar village chief and chairman of the farmer group as a key informant then AZ, TY, RA, AM and WM as the main informant and Lingsar village farmer community as supporting informant. To validate data, multisource evidence was used and analyzed with Weber's social action theory. The result of research showed that religious behavior of Lingsar village's farmer community included nerimaq (grateful), cukup (feeling enough), and ikhlas (sincere). Work ethos could be seen in social action such as working hard and diligently and farming processing land well. There was a relationship between farmer's work ethos and Sasak Islam religious understanding of agrarian community in Lingsar Village is conducted on the awareness and potential of the possessed. By applying agricultural practices based on religious experience and understanding to meet the needs of the family and as a duty of responsibility to God.
... Starting with the democratization of Indonesia in 1998, agrarian movements like SPI no longer had to work underground (Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). The possibility to organize and to publicly make political claims was welcomed and immediately seized as visible in the foundation of a central organizing platform in Jakarta. ...
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Starting in the 1990s, international organizations (IOs) have created various opportunities of access for civil society to voice criticism. While international relations (IR) scholarship has increasingly addressed the resulting interaction between IOs and civil society with a focus on NGOs, we know little about the particular reactions to IOs’ opening up by social movements. This paper analyzes reactions to opening up by a transnational social movement centrally addressing IOs: the Global Justice Movement (GJM). Examining reactions by different groups of the GJM in Europe and Southeast Asia to IOs’ opening up, we demonstrate that reactions differ considerably depending on activists’ assessments of the nature of opening up. In particular, we identify four pathways of reactions on a continuum from (1) strong cooperation with IOs as a reaction to opening up, (2) temporally limited cooperation with different IOs, (3) a hybrid reaction that combines cooperation with specific IOs with a strong opposition to other IOs in reaction to their opening up, to (4) a continuous rejection of all cooperation with IOs. We show how these different reactions are shaped by activists’ perceptions of the quality of the international opening up in conjunction with national and local context factors. Furthermore, our analysis demonstrates that such perceptions can significantly change over time depending on experiences of interactions. Reactions to opening up are therefore not predictable on the basis of a movement's shape and resources only, but rather depend on a variety of factors such as the movement's perception of the IO's sincerity in a strategic and consequential interaction, as well as the movement's ideological framework and its history of interaction with institutions at other levels, especially in the domestic realm.
... Social mobilization and localized resistance already were on the rise at the peak of the authoritarian rule by Suharto in the 1970s, similar to the South Korean case. However, more than their Korean counterparts, Indonesian environmental activists and technocrats were able to carve out more political space and in many ways aided resistance in other social sectors, particularly the agrarian movements and student movements which became critical forces in the ousting of Suharto at the end of 1990s (Peluso et al. 2008). ...
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The central inquiry of this chapter is the relationship between political liberalization and the rise and development of environmental movements. The selection of the eight cases (China, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam) is guided by both the call for broad coverage of Asia and the logic of comparative politics so that this research will be able to generate a level of theoretical discussion, in addition to empirically mapping out environmental movements in Asia. In addition to outlining the main patterns of the environmental-political dual transformation, this research also discusses possible reasons for the initial synergy between political liberalization and environmental movements to fade away and the challenges of environmental protection for both young democracies and authoritarian regimes.
... 9 Like their claims to gold deposits, forest gardens had no formal tenure. Tenure may have been recognised under traditional adat law, however formal certification by central government agencies was impossible, especially as the evolution of forestry laws in Indonesia progressively outlawed swidden cultivation(Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). 10 Pius Nyompe, LKMTL, interview with the author, October 10, 2016. ...
... The formal social forestry schemes are part of the result of ongoing international and national advocacy on land access and community-based resource management. The state land distribution programs developed and persisted so far can be seen as part of the result of the national and international agrarian reform, Indigenous, and environmental social movement (Fisher et al., 2019;Lee Peluso et al., 2008;Moeliono et al., 2017;Sahide et al., 2020). Therefore, the local commons can also be understood as part of the national and global systems (Chikozho & Mapedza, 2017;Saunders, 2014). ...
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Studies of the commons grew out of responses to Hardin's bleak prediction of “tragedy of the commons,” that without state intervention or privatization, any commons will eventually be destroyed by allegedly self-interested users. As such, the commons studies traditionally tend to demonstrate cases where common pool resources (CPR) can be sustainably managed by groups of people beyond the state and market interventions. This paper shows a case from Sulawesi, Indonesia, where a state social forestry program can create a space for the program beneficiaries to build a commons. Through fieldwork that involves participant observation and in-depth interviews with program extension workers and beneficiaries in two social forestry farmer groups, this study found that the program can stimulate beneficiary groups to build collective action in managing the state forest plots admitted to them and that the two groups are the only successful ones among 14 neighboring groups that are involved in the same program. The study also shows that the management of the state-sponsored commons requires extension workers with deep knowledge about local people and landscape, economic incentives, and the flexibility of the local state agency in bending the rules based on bottom-up demands. Therefore, the case study shows that, on the one hand, the state program can actually stimulate the creation of the commons. On the other hand, commoning seems to be the only way to ensure a successful social forestry program.
... Attention has been given to the importance of 'convergence' across struggles, around common demands for system change, food sovereignty or climate justice as a strategy to strengthen demands against powerful actors (Tramel 2018;Mills 2018;Claeys and Delgado Pugley 2017). However, linking local and national struggles with transnational movements also brings accompanying tensions, as these have their own histories (Edelman and Borras 2016;Peluso, Afiff, and Rachman 2008). While studies have looked at different ways in which mobilizations have engaged with the state, this contribution looks specifically at the context of a national regime transition in Myanmar, namely from authoritarian militarism to nominal democracy, and how agrarian resistance shapes and is shaped by these changes at national level. ...
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The intersection between land grabs and climate change mitigation politics in Myanmar has created new political opportunities for scaling up, expanding and deepening struggles toward ‘agrarian climate justice’. Building on the concepts of ‘political opportunities’ and ‘rural democratization’ to understand how rural politics is relevant to national regime changes in the process of deepening democracy, this paper argues that scaling up beyond the local level becomes necessary to counter the concentration of power at higher levels. At the same time, this vertical process is inextricable from building horizontal networks and rooting struggles in communities. By looking at national-level land policy advocacy for more just land laws, accountability politics in mining at a regional level in the southern Tanintharyi region, and the bottom-up establishment of local indigenous territories, this paper illustrates how expanding these struggles becomes necessary, but is also accompanied by potential fault-lines. These fault-lines include divergent political tendencies within the network and challenges to working in areas contested by the Burmese state and ethnic armed organizations.
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This paper analyses the emergence and fixing of scales in struggles over environmental issues. Using the example of watershed and coastal management in Java, we show how political framings of environmental matters and struggles over resources are linked to scalar regimes. We conceptualise these regimes as scalar fixes in which scales of intervention and scales of knowledge production are bound by environmental narratives and social–ecological processes to produce lock-in effects for prolonged periods of time. In our empirical case, particular scales were central in providing ‘problem closure’ and legitimising interventions while precluding other problematisations. Sedimentation of the Segara Anakan lagoon, first desired to support conversion into a rice bowl, was later framed as threat caused by upland peasants. The lock-in of interpretive framings and scales of observation and intervention, which was linked to politics of forest control, impeded debate on the various causes of sedimentation. With our newly defined concept of scalar fixes we contribute to understanding environmental narratives and related knowledge, providing a complement to the micro-perspectives on the stabilisation of knowledge claims currently discussed in cultural and political ecology. In doing so, we offer an approach to scalar analysis of environmental conflicts linking environmental narratives with the material social–ecological processes enrolled.
Thesis
The thesis results identified perceptions and roles of journalists in covering environmental problems in Indonesia. It also resulted a framework on how to encourage journalists to do environmental journalism.
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Timber sourcing is shifting from extraction from natural forests to forms of cultivation that are increasingly agricultural in nature. This book takes a multidisciplinary approach to examine the socio-political, biophysical and discursive dimensions of this divergence of wood production from forests. This analysis challenges the historical integration of wood production and forest ecosystem management exemplified by the institutions of forestry with their inherent wood/forest connection. This has significant implications for how wood and forest socio-ecological systems confront change and challenge ideas about how to achieve sustainability. Historically, the institutions of stewardship forestry were founded on ideals of sustainable systems in long-term equilibrium. However, these occur within rapidly evolving social and technological contexts that constantly challenge the maintenance of any equilibrium. This creates considerable tension within wood and forest socio-ecological systems and their institutions and governance. Moving beyond adaptation to transformation, however, requires a willingness to consider post-forestry conditions, such as integration of emerging wood cultivation systems into agricultural and landscape approaches, and increasing management of extensive forest ecosystems for non-wood values in the absence of wood production. This book includes four case studies: a global modelling of shifts in wood production and three national case studies (Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand), each analysing shifts in resilience in wood and forest socio-ecological systems using a different disciplinary approach. This book will be of interest to advanced students, researchers and professionals in forestry, land use, conservation, rural studies and geography.
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Was haben Handcreme, Tiefkühlpizza und Waschmittel gemeinsam? Richtig: Sie enthalten Palmöl – wie bereits die Hälfte aller Supermarktprodukte. Doch wodurch wurde der atemberaubende Palmölboom mit seinen verheerenden sozialen und ökologischen Folgen in den Produktionsländern ausgelöst? Alina Brad untersucht die politischen und ökonomischen Triebkräfte, die den Aufstieg Indonesiens zum weltweit führenden Palmölproduzenten ermöglichten. Ausgehend von den historischen und polit-ökonomischen Bedingungen entschlüsselt sie das komplexe Geflecht von Interessen und Konflikten um Landkontrolle und Inwertsetzung im indonesischen Palmölsektor.
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There is not one, but a number of combined factors explaining why an Indonesian strongman such as Suharto could cling onto power. The way in which he came into office and maintained power in Indonesia deserves a close analysis occupying more than a few pages. This chapter focuses on the fact that Indonesia was subjected to a style of leadership that was ‘more stick than carrot’, at the expense of the economy and civil society. Under Suharto’s repressive leadership, the country went through some impressive development and was engaged in the process of globalisation in advance of the rest of the nations in the region, especially before Cambodia and Lao. Suharto came into power through a coup and this brutal manoeuvre to secure tenure reflects his prowess in seizing power. Maintaining durability of office, Suharto resorted to violent means more often than not; however, he held onto office not only by oppressing his challengers or opponents, but also by maintaining some economic progress to placate the populace and to co-opt dissidents, including the disgruntled grassroots (peasant) communities. While the rent-seeking economy was one of the core strategies to ensure his continuing tenure in power, the advancement of the Indonesian economy appeared, in a relative sense, to benefit the prominent elites of the regime, while poor and marginalised communities, including land and natural resource dependents, were left lagging behind. Thus, this chapter describes how the mobilisation and protests of such communities, which came about in response to Suharto’s tactics, experienced outcomes that were also shaped by his power game—a game of balance.
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The right-to-water discourse has shaped the opposition movement against the market-oriented approach to water governance in Indonesia. We documented how global debates against water privatization influenced local articulations of the discourse since 1998, and how activists utilized it within the national and provincial water policy arenas. Our observations and analyses are centred on the decision of the Indonesian Constitutional Court February 2015 to annul the 2004 Law on Water Resources (UU Sumber Daya Air No.7/2004), or the national legal umbrella under which private water concessions were sanctioned; we seek to understand discourse formations before and after the decision that helped end partial institutions of water privatization in Indonesia. This is also for arguing that, there are limits to the use of the right-to-water discourse as the way it is applied by the activists. Overly-focusing on the normative struggles against the privatization of piped-water services has hindered more progressive responses to different policy changes within the water sectors, which remain market-oriented. Also in this way, the Indonesian water social movement has been disconnected from the more recent agendas of global struggles for just water governance, and most critically, from the actual needs of the grassroots.
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The aspiration to achieve food self-sufficiency has returned to the Indonesian policy agenda in the post-reformasi period. After being side-lined as a policy goal immediately after the transition to democracy, political leaders since 2009 have increasingly cited self-sufficiency to justify policies to raise domestic food production and reduce food imports. These policies are often inefficient and at odds with the goals of food security and decreasing poverty. The self-sufficiency drive is thus often attributed to ‘political’ motives. But what kind of politics is at work in Indonesia’s renewed self-sufficiency drive: a broad-based politics that aims to foster support among smallholder food producers, or an elite politics based on rent-seeking by narrow constituencies? The distributional implications of food self-sufficiency policies in the post-reformasi period suggest that both dynamics are at work. Narrow elite interests have benefited, but smallholder landowners account for a significant share of many agricultural crops. Although smallholder landowners are increasingly differentiated, they constitute a reasonably broad-based constituency. The valorisation of agriculture reflected in the self-sufficiency drive and related rural sector policies may lay the foundations for a more inclusive agricultural political economy.
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Java’s extensive political forests and their contentious social relations have been profoundly transformed since the turn of the 21st century. This paper analyses new forms of forest land use, control, and revenue distribution, shaping and shaped by political‐economic changes and neoliberal‐era reforms. Villagers’ expanded uses, access to, and control of the forest understory under the violently thinned out canopies of the main tree species has generated newly spatialised forest politics, with new institutions and forest labour practices. The changes in land, species, and labour controls, and in villagers’ access to forest products and revenues define this historical transformation in the constitution of Java’s classic political forest. Contentious co‐production has resulted in fragmented territories and a momentary (at least) weakening of state controls within the old imperial political forest.
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The majority of the Minangkabau people still live in their hometowns in West Sumatra Province and live in a rural atmosphere by having a main livelihood in agriculture. Loan agreement with profit sharing is an agreement that occurs in the Minangkabau customary community whose object is inheritance. This agreement has been carried out for a long time. In fact, it has become a habit until now. This agreement is carried out with the aim of meeting financial needs. The research problems of this thesis include: 1) How is the process of making and implementing loan agreements with profit sharing of agricultural land in Toboh Gadang Village, Padang Pariaman Regency, 2) How is the process of redemption or completion of loan agreements with profit sharing of agricultural land in Toboh Gadang Village, Padang Pariaman Regency, 3) How is the validity of the loan agreement based on the Agrarian Law. This research was conducted by using empirical juridical research method. The results of the research showed that the form of a loan agreement with profit sharing is made by the parties in the form of a private agreement letter.
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World Bank, inside its Country Partnership Framework for Indonesia, explicitly stated that it is needed in "focusing the reform agenda around making more space and a more reliable and enabling environment for the private sector, in all our engagements." The framework contains a 200 million USD loan for 'accelerating agrarian reform' in Indonesia. The purposes for the loan are creating parcel plots in the designated region villages, administer all land claims, and facilitate the land arrangement and registration into the e-land. It includes legal rights and communal land, land registration (common or individual land) for women. The loan needs a new mechanism to consult several NGOs, CSOs and advocacy groups on agrarian reform, adat rights, good governance and woman rights. The consultation must be included in the Environmental and Social Management Framework (document). Several movement organizations agreed that they would make the organized rural area part of the designated loan project area. It was a surprising one since several of the organization mentioned before were the leading impetus for 'genuine agrarian reform' (based on BAL 1960) implementation. The questions on “what form and to what extend the transmutation of agrarian movement In Indonesia is happening” and “how scholar-activists, which have been using the social movement to accommodate their interest, position themselves” then arisen, even though the agrarian reform loan package from World Bank clearly done for the capital accumulation’s sake.
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Twentieth century land reform centred on landlords, tillers, and a revolutionary or reform-producing state. The twenty-first century version involves a wider array of actors and diverse agendas including good governance and the mitigation of climate change. Commons, co-ops and corporations figure large in the twenty-first assemblage where they enable different parties to align around a progressive neoliberal platform that sets insurrectionary demands aside to focus on what seems plausible and fundable within existing constraints. Focusing on Indonesia where land reform recommenced circa 2016, I consider both the elements that comprise the land reform assemblage and the elements excluded from it.
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The previous chapters discussed about the research methodology based on Tan Malaka’s critical views, and how to apply it in this research scheme to develop an integrated [emancipative] framework of local government accountability that integrates economic-socio-environmental issues based on aspirations of Indonesian socio-environmental activists, society, as well as supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals.
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This book shows the growing phenomenon and the broad impact of socio-environmental conflicts in the grassroots communities—farmers, fishermen and urban poor—in Indonesia, as the effects of government’s development strategies based on neoliberal and New Public Management (NPM) views without a clear accountability system or socio-environmental accountability practices and reports are becoming apparent. Inspired by the emancipatory socio-environmental accounting discourse, which focuses on the socio-local context in developing alternative models of accountability based on local views and people's aspirations, this book uses research methodology based on the principles put forth by Indonesian national hero and critical scholar Tan Malaka to develop a framework of integrated accountability for the local government. This book fills the present gap in English publications that analyse the intents and outcomes of the public management reforms in Indonesia with regard to socio-environmental issues, as a basis for further research at the international level as well as policymaking in Indonesia. As the Indonesian government has recently undertaken key structural and accounting reforms in the public sector, this book is a timely and valuable read for graduate students, researchers,- and policymakers.
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While land remains a critical element of diversified rural livelihoods across the Global South, especially during crises, mounting inequalities and enduring rural vulnerability lead to demands for redress. In response, rival reform ideas have emerged concerning how to improve land governance, drive rural development and rectify distributional injustices. Yet, reformist programs in Southeast Asia struggle to address the pervasive problem of ‘adverse formalization’ – a term we use to describe processes where the state claims sovereign control of extensive ‘public lands’ and embarks on formalization processes that include local populations into new land-based production systems on adverse terms. Using the natural experiment of Indonesia, where four tenurial reforms coincide, this paper draws on the governmentality literature to examine how travelling tenure knowledges work as rival and ambiguous political rationalities. We demonstrate how political economy, the need for political legitimacy, and frictional encounters between political knowledges, interests and practices shape the governance effects produced by tenure rationalities. Formalisation processes institutionalise state governance in areas previously resistant to such political rationalities, stabilise existing property relations, and accommodate ad hoc settlements without substantially resolving adverse formalisation while provoking a new politics of land.
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This chapter demonstrates how the actions of the labor rights movement made a decisive contribution to the delegitimization of the regime. Struggling to regain a foothold after the decimation of independent labor unions in the massacres of 1965 and repression in the decades that followed, worker activists and their middle-class allies nevertheless clawed their way back, raising awareness at home and abroad of the Indonesian government's unrelenting subjugation of labor rights in its search for economic growth and political stability. Having been forced to accommodate some of the labor movement's demands in the early 1990s, the government struck back, all but destroying the alternative labor unions that had emerged in the intervening years. As a consequence, there was little evidence of worker mobilization in the immediate lead-up to the fall of Suharto. While continuing to grapple with the ongoing obstacles of low density of unionization among workers, organizational fragmentation, and political isolation, the labor movement has since asserted itself economically and politically.
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Literaturverz. S. [337] - 365
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Indonesia is a country known both for the magnitude of efforts directed towards the development of its agriculture, and for the apparently problematic results of many of these efforts. Some of the problems reflect the real difficulties of successfully articulating land, people, and work in a developing country; but others, as I will argue in this article, result from discontinuities between the empirical agricultural reality that must be addressed in development and the perceptions of those officials and planners who direct it. The basic discontinuity involves the contrast between the agricultural ecologies of inner and outer Indonesia, and the evaluation of this contrast by the preeminent culture of inner Indonesia, the Javanese. This is a contrast between irrigated rice cultivation in Java (and also Bali and Lombok), and the swidden cultivation of dry rice in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and the lesser Sunda islands. Contemporary Javanese (speaking here of those in decision-making positions) uniformly speak of the former agricultural system as more productive, more rational, and in general better for the nation and national development than the latter. The swidden-based system of agriculture is regarded not merely as less good than the system of irrigated rice cultivation, but explicitly as something bad -- irrational, destructive, and uncontrollable. It is the thesis of this article that this comparative evaluation of wet-rice and dry-rice agriculture is fundamentally distorted, and that the reasons for this are not pedagogical, but rather economic and political. My thesis is that the Javanese idealization of intensive rice cultivation and deprecation of extensive rice cultivation is based on a cultural myth, one important consequence of which is to rationalize and sustain the political and economic preeminence of their culture and government.
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How have national and state governments the world over come to “own” huge expanses of territory under the rubric of “national forest,” “national parks,” or “wastelands”? The two contradictory statements in the above epigraph illustrate that not all colonial administrators agreed that forests should be taken away from local people and “protected” by the state. The assumption of state authority over forests is based on a relatively recent convergence of historical circumstances. These circumstances have enabled certain state authorities to supersede the rights, claims, and practices of people resident in what the world now calls “forests.”
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The conventional view in the land reform literature does not consider distribution of ‘public’ lands to landless and near-landless peasants as redistributive land reform. Questioning the (formal) private property bias in land reform theory and practice, this paper rethinks some fundamental concepts and re-examines actual distribution in public lands in the Philippines. It concludes that redistributive reform can, in fact, occur in this type of land and the political process through which this outcome can be achieved could be highly contentious.
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The book identifies the emergence and increasing political importance of ?ecological modernization? as a new language in environmental politics. In this conceptual language, environmental management appears as a ?positive sum game?. Combining social theory with detailed empirical analysis, the book illustrates the social and political dynamics of ecological modernization through a study of the acid rain controversies in Great Britain and the Netherlands. The book concludes with a reflection on the institutional challenge of environmental politics in the years to come. The book is not only seen as a ?modern classic? in the literature on environmental politics but is also renowned for its application of discourse analysis to the study of the policy process.
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Wild Profusion tells the fascinating story of biodiversity conservation in Indonesia in the decade culminating in the great fires of 1997-98--a time when the country's environment became a point of concern for social and environmental activists, scientists, and the many fishermen and farmers nationwide who suffered from degraded environments and faced accusations that they were destroying nature. Celia Lowe argues that biodiversity, in 1990s Indonesia, implied a particular convergence of nature, nation, science, and identity that made Indonesians' mapping of the concept distinct within transnational practices of nature conservation at the time. Lowe recounts the efforts of Indonesian biologists to document the species of the Togean Islands, to "develop" Togean people, and to turn this archipelago off the coast of Sulawesi into a national park. Indonesian scientists aspired to a conservation biology that was both internationally recognizable and politically effective in the Indonesian context. Simultaneously, Lowe describes the experiences of Togean Sama people who had their own understandings of nature and nation. To place Sama and scientist into the same conceptual frame, Lowe studies Sama ideas in the context of transnational thought rather than local knowledge. In tracking the practice of conservation biology in a postcolonial setting, Wild Profusion explores what in nature can count as important and for whom.
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The challenges in using and managing natural resources in Indonesia are immense. They include ensuring that resource utilisation benefits most Indonesians; optimising the rate of exploitation of mineral reserves, bearing in mind the interests of future generations; and achieving sustainable forest and maritime exploitation. Recent rapid political change under reformasi and decentralisation may seem to have provided opportunities for a long-term development path that embraces both resource sustainability and equity issues. However, they have also generated an environment of political uncertainty, weak law enforcement, increased insecurity of property rights and local conflicts. This situation, together with the post-crisis imperative of restoring socio-economic progress, has created a pressing need to address the challenges of proper utilisation and management of natural resources. This book examines these and related issues from a political, socio-economic, and environmental standpoint.
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Reorganising Power in Indonesia is a new and distinctive analysis of the dramatic fall of Soeharto, the last of the great Cold War capitalist dictators, and of the struggles that reshape power and wealth in Indonesia. The dramatic events of the past two decades are understood essentially in terms of the rise of a complex politico-business oligarchy and the ongoing reorganisation of its power through successive crises, colonising and expropriating new political and market institutions. With the collapse of authoritarian rule, the authors propose that the way was left open for this oligarchy to reconstitute its power within society and the institutions of newly democratic Indonesia.
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Following an aborted coup attempt in October 1965, the Indonesian military organized what turned out to be one of the most horrifying massacres of the twentieth century. More than half a million people were killed while hundreds of thousands of others were detained for years in prison camps throughout the country. There are two major points that this paper attempts to make. First, that the killings are in fact a case of state violence despite of the efforts to make it look like spontaneous violence. Second, that the killings are crucial to the expansion of capitalism in Indonesia. Using Marx's concept of 'primitive accumulation', it attempts to show that the mass killings and arrests, the expropriation of people from their houses and lands, and the elimination of working-class political formations, are integral parts of an economic strategy of the New Order.
Article
Building on a critical overview of current social movement theory, this book presents a structural model for analysing social movements in advanced capitalism that locates them within global, national, regional and local structures. Buechler discusses a redirection of social movement theory that restores a critical, structural, macro-level, and historical emphasis to sociological theorizing about social movements. Clearly presented, this is a thoughtful introduction to the sociological study of social movements, linking the theoretical traditions that comprise the core of the discipline to the subfield of social movements. It is an excellent supplementary text for any advanced undergraduate or graduate class on collective action and social movements.
Article
Abbreviations Introduction: debt crisis, social crisis, paradigm crisis 1. The rise and demise of a tropical welfare state 2. 'Iron First in a Kid Glove': peasants confront the free market 3. Organizing in 'The Cradle of Maize' 4. 'In Jail, We'll Eat Cement': finale to a peasant strike 5. Movements evolve, organizations are born and die Conclusion: peasant movements of the late twentieth century Appendix Notes Index.
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Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection By Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press. 2004.
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This statement was made by AMAN (Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara), the Alliance of Indigenous People of the Archipelago, at their inaugural congress in Jakarta, March 1999. The congress was organized by a consortium of Jakarta-based NGOs, and funded by international donors (USAID, CUSO, and OXFAM among others). Building upon a process of mobilization that began with the International Year of Indigenous People in 1993, the Congress marked the formal entry of masyarakat adat (literally, people who adhere to customary ways) as one of several groups staking claims and seeking to redefine its place in the Indonesian nation as the political scene opened up after Suharto's long and repressive rule. AMAN and its supporters assert cultural distinctiveness as the grounds for securing rights to territories and resources threatened by forestry, plantation and mining interests backed by police and military intimidation. Their attempt to place the problems of masyarakat adat on the political agenda has been remarkably successful. While seven years ago the head of the national land agency declared that the category masyarakat adat, which had some significance in colonial law, was defunct or withering away (Kisbandono 18/o02/93), the term now appears ever more frequently in the discourse of activists, parliamentarians, media, and government officials dealing with forest and land issues. The official view in Indonesia, at least until recently, was that the international legal category 'indigenous people' did not fit Indo
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Introduction Questions of biodiversity conservation, national parks, ecoregions and social development are often pursued through transnational collaboration. Rather than a flow of authoritative knowledge moving from the “west to the rest’, the problems of nature conservation can usefully be formulated in dialogue across boundaries of spatial and social difference. National parks are especially salient spaces for thinking through what it means for Southeast Asians and Euro-Americans to work together. For one, environmental problems, like smoke from forest fires or fish that spawn in coastal mangroves and school in mid-ocean, do not respect the authority or borders of nation-states. In terms of society, models for thought and social action also engage many kinds of actors across national boundaries and across lines of difference within the nation-state. Projects of biodiversity conservation continually emerge within these collaborative spaces. In the form of a dialogue, Suraya Afiff (S. A.) and Celia Lowe (C. L.) join together in this chapter to discuss what it means to collaborate around issues of nature conservation within Indonesia's national parks and ecoregions. This dialogue is informed by our combined expertise working in the Sulu-Sulawesi Sea Ecoregion, national parks across Indonesia, and with non-governmental and environmental institutions such as Walhi, Yabshi, Karsa, CI and WWF. Suraya Afiff comes to the conversation with 15 years' experience as a scholar and environmental activist in Indonesia. Originally a student of biology, she is an expert on land conflict in Indonesia. © Cambridge University Press 2008 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Article
Since the fall of Soeharto in 1998, economic reforms have been linked to internationally supported programs to introduce market-facilitating “good governance” practices, which include the promotion of democratic elections and administrative and fiscal decentralization. International development organizations have thus put forward decentralization as necessary, essentially, to save Indonesia from becoming an irredeemably “failed state” — an issue that has now grown in importance because of the current nature of Western security concerns in Southeast Asia. But this article suggests that the way decentralization has actually taken place can only be understood in relation to the entrenchment of a democratic political regime run by the logic of money politics and violence, and primarily dominated by reconstituted old New Order elites. Taking local party politics in North Sumatra and East Java as case studies, the article shows that local constellations of power, with an interest in the perpetuation of predatory politics, still offer significant sites of resistance to the global neoliberal economic and political agenda.
Article
International environmental agreements assume that nation-states have the capacity, Internal legitimacy, and the will to manage resources within their territorial boundaries. Although many state agencies or factions may be interested in joining international conservation interests to preserve threatened resources and habitats, some state interests appropriate the ideology, legitimacy, and technology of conservation as a means of increasing or appropriating their control over valuable resources and recalcitrant populations. While international conservation groups may have no direct agenda for using violence to protect biological resources, their support of states which either lack the capacity to manage resources or intend to control ‘national’ resources at any price, contributes to the disenfranchisement of indigenous people with resource claims. This paper compares two examples of state efforts to control valuable resources in Kenya and Indonesia. In both cases, the maintenance of state control has led to a militarization of the resource ‘conservation’ process. International conservation interests either directly or indirectly legitimate the states' use of force in resource management.
Article
A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat and light; one stick alone is just a stick. In both cases, it is friction that produces movement, action, effect. Challenging the widespread view that globalization invariably signifies a "clash" of cultures, anthropologist Anna Tsing here develops friction in its place as a metaphor for the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world. She focuses on one particular "zone of awkward engagement"--the rainforests of Indonesia--where in the 1980s and the 1990s capitalist interests increasingly reshaped the landscape not so much through corporate design as through awkward chains of legal and illegal entrepreneurs that wrested the land from previous claimants, creating resources for distant markets. In response, environmental movements arose to defend the rainforests and the communities of people who live in them. Not confined to a village, a province, or a nation, the social drama of the Indonesian rainforest includes local and national environmentalists, international science, North American investors, advocates for Brazilian rubber tappers, UN funding agencies, mountaineers, village elders, and urban students, among others--all combining in unpredictable, messy misunderstandings, but misunderstandings that sometimes work out.
Article
Obra que reconstruye el origen y evolución de las actuales redes transnacionales que, con la utilización de las nuevas tecnologías informativas como recurso organizador y aglutinador, han logrado constituirse en movimientos más o menos presionadores en la defensa de los derechos humanos, de la protección ambiental y de una mayor equidad de género, entre otros.
Article
Much commentary on Indonesian politics since the fall of President Suharto in May 1998 has suggested that Indonesia's political system has remained just as exclusionary as it was prior to his fall, despite becoming much more democratic and decentralised. In contrast to this view, we argue that Indonesia's political system has become more inclusive, if only somewhat more so. The fall of Suharto and the subsequent process of democratisation have removed key obstacles to organisation by poor and disadvantaged groups and their NGO allies, making it easier for them to engage in collective action aimed at achieving pro-poor policy change. By making attainment of political office dependent on the support of the voting public, many of whom are poor and disadvantaged, these developments have also created an incentive for politicians to pursue policy changes that favour these groups or at least that appeal to them. At the same time, however, we argue that poor and disadvantaged groups have not become major players in the policy-making process. Despite the fall of Suharto and democratisation, these groups continue to lack the resources possessed by other participants in the policy-making process. Whereas the politico-bureaucrats and well-connected business groups have been able to exercise influence over policy by buying support within representative bodies such as parliament and mobile capital controllers, the IFIs and Western governments have been able to exercise influence by virtue of their structural power, poor and disadvantaged groups have had to rely on less potent ways of exercising influence such as holding demonstrations, engaging in lobbying activity and participating in public debates. We illustrate these points with reference to two policy issues: land reform and mining in protected forests. The article concludes by considering the future prospects for inclusive policy-making in Indonesia.
Book
Millions of Javanese peasants live alongside state-controlled forest lands in one of the world's most densely populated agricultural regions. Because their legal access and customary rights to the forest have been severely limited, these peasants have been pushed toward illegal use of forest resources. This book untangles the complex of peasant and state politics that has developed in Java over three centuries. Drawing on historical materials and intensive field research, including two contemporary case studies, the text presents the story of the forest and its people. Without major changes in ... More Millions of Javanese peasants live alongside state-controlled forest lands in one of the world's most densely populated agricultural regions. Because their legal access and customary rights to the forest have been severely limited, these peasants have been pushed toward illegal use of forest resources. This book untangles the complex of peasant and state politics that has developed in Java over three centuries. Drawing on historical materials and intensive field research, including two contemporary case studies, the text presents the story of the forest and its people. Without major changes in forest policy, the book contends, the situation is portentous. Economic, social, and political costs to the government will increase. Development efforts will by stymied and forest destruction will continue. Mindful that a dramatic shift is unlikely, the book suggests how tension between foresters and villagers can be alleviated while giving peasants a greater stake in local forest management. Millions of Javanese peasants live alongside state-controlled forest lands in one of the world's most densely populated agricultural regions. Because their legal access and customary rights to the forest have been severely limited, these peasants have been pushed toward illegal use of forest resources. This book untangles the complex of peasant and state politics that has developed in Java over three centuries. Drawing on historical materials and intensive field research, including two contemporary case studies, the text presents the story of the forest and its people. Without major changes in ... More
Article
As corporate and government money flow into the three big international organizations that dominate the world's conservation agenda, their programs have been marked by growing conflicts of interest - and by a disturbing neglect of the indigenous peoples whose land they are in business to protect. What's needed now is a series of independent, non-partisan, thorough, and fairly objective evaluations that answer key questions the NGOs can't credibly answer. These evaluations should be undertaken by nonhierarchical teams representing the various sectors - indigenous peoples, local communities, national NGOs, government agencies, and donors, including bilateral and multilateral donors (whose influence is enormous) and private corporations (which have been largerly silent) - and should be prosecuted in the spirit of seeking information and insights, not justifying existing programs. Together, these stakeholders need to pursue the kind of open, public discussion that can lead towards the creation of conservation programs that are responsive to the need of both biological and human diversity worldwide.