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The politics of decentralisation and indigenous revivalism in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tyson, Adam Dean (2008) The politics of decentralisation and indigenous revivalism in Sulawesi, Indonesia. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The political transition in May 1998 set the stage for the passing of Indonesia's framework decentralisation laws (numbers 22 and 25 of 1999). These laws include both political and technocratic efforts to devolve authority from the centre (Jakarta) to the peripheries. Contrary to expectations, enhanced public participation often takes the form of indigenous (adat) revivalism, a highly contested and contingent process linked to intensified political struggles and conflicts throughout the archipelago. This thesis considers the ways in which decentralisation and adat revivalism intersect by foregrounding specific, localised struggles for rights and recognition in Sulawesi,, eastern Indonesia. Year-long research for this thesis was conducted at national, provincial, and local levels, with an emphasis on case studies from the districts of Bulukumba, East Luwu, Gowa, Majene, North Luwu, Palopo, and Tana Toraja. The core chapters of this thesis suggest that the innate, primordial givens of indigenous communities are being selectively drawn upon, finely-tuned, and exemplified in the search for political rights and recognition. It is argued, therefore, that village communities are increasingly engaged in a process of "becoming indigenous, " a process largely driven, instrumentalised, and distorted by external actors such as NGO activists and legal advocates. Local disputes increasingly derive from the primary, exigent right of recognition, and then extend to remedial rights including customary tenure, resource entitlement, and the right to return to antedated systems of governance. In the era of decentralisation there is no unified, grand procedural strategy for dealing with the political challenges posed by adat revivalism. In response to the devolution of authority from Jakarta to the peripheries, however, the political contours of conflict mediation and dispute resolution are being reconfigured, and the roles of all protagonists are evolving (or regressing) accordingly.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.493597
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2010 14:56
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2014 16:54
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/964

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