Old Wine in a New Bottle

Neoliberalism and Water Resources Law 2019 in Indonesia

  • Imam Koeswahyono Faculty of Law, Brawijaya University, Indonesia
  • Syahriza Alkohir Anggoro Faculty of Law, Brawijaya University, Indonesia
  • Muhammad Dahlan Faculty of Law, Brawijaya University, Indonesia


Resistance to neoliberal legal reforms has increased globally in recent decades due to the failure of water privatization to ensure affordable and sustainable water access in the global South. Referring to the 2004 and 2019 Water Resources Laws, this paper explores how, in the case of Indonesia, the law reproduces and normalizes neoliberal ideologies that frame water as an economic commodity. We argue that Indonesia's current legal regime governing water resources is based on populist rhetoric of fulfilling the human right to water through state management. However, the adopted water governance regime aims to facilitate the establishment of a climate conducive to private sector investment by shifting responsibility for the fulfillment of the human right to water from the state to a market-based allocation system. This paper examines the strategy adopted by the government in securing the water privatization agenda when dealing with judicial activism that requires water to be managed as a public good.


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How to Cite
KOESWAHYONO, Imam; ANGGORO, Syahriza Alkohir; DAHLAN, Muhammad. Old Wine in a New Bottle. Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 26-54, june 2022. ISSN 2599-2147. Available at: <https://jurnal.unej.ac.id/index.php/JSEAHR/article/view/29084>. Date accessed: 23 feb. 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.19184/jseahr.v6i1.29084.

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