Society and Politics

Everyday Citizenship in Village Java

Ito, T.

2016 | Book Chapter

Citizenship has gained currency as a key concept in the global strategy to promote and deepen democracy. For a strong and well-functioning democracy, the argument goes, ordinary people should be willing and able to participate in the decision making process that affects their lives as rights-bearing citizens. For donors and international aid agencies leading this democracy drive, ‘traditional’ and ‘vertical’ social relations – including patron – client relations – are deemed to be incompatible with democracy. Subjects need to be transformed into rights-bearing citizens. Citizenship, understood in this manner, is often uncritically linked to specific configurations of institutions and framed within the rhetoric of liberal democracy, with political and civil rights that realize citizen participation and deliberation. Perhaps, because of this normative bias, there is a relative dearth of research on the actual experience and practice of citizenship.

 

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Ito, Takeshi

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Ito, Takeshi. 2016. "Everyday Citizenship in Village Java." In  W. BerenschotH.G.C. Schulte Nordholt and L. Bakker eds. Citizenship and Democratization in Southeast Asia Leiden: Brill: 51-67.

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Power to Make Land Dispossession Acceptable:

A Policy Discourse Analysis of the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE), Papua, Indonesia

Ito, T.,

Rachman, N. F.,

Savitri, L.

2014 | Journal, Article

The Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) in Papua, Indonesia, is a state-led mega-project to transform local agriculture through large-scale corporate investment in food crops and biofuels for foreign markets. The project has led to extensive land dispossession, accompanied by devastating social and ecological impacts. This contribution analyzes how discourse regarding food and energy crises has been employed to release land from customary tenure to a coalition of state, corporate and local elite actors. The interests of these actors have converged on the state-led mega-project to transform local agriculture through large-scale corporate investment in food crops and biofuels in the name of national food security.

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Ito, Takeshi

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Ito, Takeshi, Noer Fauzi Rachman & Laksmi Savitri. 2014. Power to Make Land Dispossession Acceptable: A Policy Discourse Analysis of the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE), Papua, Indonesia. Journal of Peasant Studies. 41(1): 29-50. 10.1080/03066150.2013.873029. 

 

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Historicizing the power of civil society:

A perspective from decentralization in Indonesia

Ito, T.

2011 | Journal, Article

The devolution of power to subnational governments and the involvement of civil society in policy decisions and implementation are the twin pillars of neoliberal governance reforms in post-authoritarian Indonesia. Yet, for the poor, these reforms have failed to bring about downward accountability and popular participation. Based on a political ethnography in the Priangan highlands of West Java, this article explores how a civil society approach to decentralization has compromised local democracy. Drawing on state-society relations, state formation, and institutional choice literatures, and focusing on power relations, social structures, and historical experiences in Indonesia, the article illustrates the complicity of civil society in the failure of decentralization to benefit the poor. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

 

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Ito, Takeshi

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Ito, Takeshi. 2011. Historicizing the power of civil society: A perspective from decentralization in Indonesia. Journal of Peasant Studies 38(2): 413-433. 10.1080/03066150.2011.559015. 

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The Dynamics of Local Governance Reform in Decentralizing Indonesia: Participatory Planning and Village Empowerment in Bandung, West Java

Ito, T.

2006 | Journal, Article

Conservatives within the central government and experts on democratic theory

insisted that Indonesian people (let alone people in the regions) are “not yet ready for

democracy.” Contrary to the statement, quite a few innovations in local governance have

appeared during the process of Indonesia’s democratic decentralization. Among them,

the district (kabupaten) government of Bandung, West Java Province has put in place two

reform initiatives participatory development and village empowerment despite the

long tradition of centralized control and the military’s involvement in local politics.

How did reform initiatives emerge from the old political landscape in the first place?

Who are the key actors in local governance reform? What are the impediments to local

governance reform and how can these be removed? And what is meant by “deepening

democracy?” This paper explores these questions by focusing on the process of local

governance reform upon which the district government of Bandung has embarked.

How did reform initiatives emerge from the old political landscape in the first place?

Who are the key actors in local governance reform? What are the impediments to local

governance reform and how can these be removed? And what is meant by “deepening

democracy?” This paper explores these questions by focusing on the process of local

governance reform upon which the district government of Bandung has embarked.

Link to KASA authors

Ito, Takeshi

Full Reference

Ito, Takeshi. (2006). The Dynamics of Local Governance Reform in Decentralizing Indonesia: Participatory Planning and Village Empowerment in Bandung, West Java. Asian and African Area Studies. 5(2): 137-183. 

 

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