Contesting State Forests in Post-Suharto Indonesia: Authority Formation, State Forest Land Dispute, and Power in Upland Central Java, Indonesia

Authors

  • Anu Lounela University of Helsinki

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-5.2-2

Keywords:

Authority Formation, Land Dispute, Power Relations, State Forest Land, Upland Java

Abstract

 This article explores the ongoing conflict over state forest land between the local population and the State Forestry Corporation  (SFC) in a village in upland Central Java with regard to authority formation. It looks at how different agents draw on diff erent sources of authority in the course of the conflict and its negotiations. The principal questions are to what kind of sources of authority villagers refer to and how the formation of authority informs the relations between the state and society in the land dispute. The article is based on 11 months of ethnographic fieldwork and focuses on the central fi gure of Pak Wahid who took a leading position in the forest land dispute and in mobilising peasants in the village. The article argues that in post-Suharto Java, leadership in the struggle for state forest land at the village level is embedded in the interaction of Javanese ideas of power and authority as well as administrative authority. Due to political and institutional reforms, new sources of authority could be invoked while there are no real changes in the power relations within the village or between the SFC and the villagers.

Author Biography

Anu Lounela, University of Helsinki

Anu Lounela is currently a researcher at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She thanks Cliff ord Sather and two anonymous reviewers for the valuable comments on this article.

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Published

2012-12-30

How to Cite

Lounela, A. (2012). Contesting State Forests in Post-Suharto Indonesia: Authority Formation, State Forest Land Dispute, and Power in Upland Central Java, Indonesia. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 5(2), 208–228. https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-5.2-2

Issue

Section

Current Research on Southeast Asia