Struggling with Development

How Decentralization Undermines Traditional Farmers’ Cultural Rights in Barito Kuala, Indonesia

Abstract

This research examines the concept of a regional wide-ranging autonomy principle that aims to promote local uniqueness and traditions and their impact on the rights and protections of traditional communities and their Traditional Knowledge (TK). Empirical data collected from early to mid-2021 in Barito Kuala District, Indonesia, was used. The results revealed that the local government has no practical autonomy, nor does it protect traditional communities from the negative effects of development projects as all regional Bills must uphold the limited affairs stated in the 2014 Regional Autonomy Act. The sources of this bottleneck are the ambiguities in the Constitution and the loopholes in the 2014 Act. These legal flaws are worsened by elite connections in central and local governments creating a ‘trade-off’, in which the local government must uphold the Unitary State doctrine while the central government remains silent about the corrupt political dynasties in the district. This study advances the existing contemporary understanding of decentralization and development projects that often contradict the law.


 


Keywords: Indonesia decentralization; agricultural traditions; law and development; traditional farmers; national and local elites.

References

Act Number 11 of 2005 on Ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

Act Number 22 of 1999 on Regional Autonomy

Act Number 23 of 2014 on Regional Autonomy

Act Number 5 of 1974 on Governmental Affairs in Regionals
Beckert, Barbara, Christoph Dittrich and Soeryo Adiwibowo (2014) “Contested Land: An Analysis of Multi-Layered Conflicts in Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia.” 7 Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies. 75-91.

BNPB (2021) “10 Kabupaten/Kota terdampak banjir di Kalimantan Selatan” [‘10 districts and cities affected by flooding in South Kalimantan’]. https://bnpb.go.id/berita/-update-10-kabupaten-kota-terdampak-banjir-di-kalimantan-selatan (accessed March 17, 2021) (in Indonesian).

Butt, Simon & Tim Lindsey (2018) Indonesian Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dahl, Robert A (1958) “A Critique of the Ruling Elite Model” 52(2) The American Political Science Review. 463-469.

Dahl, Robert A (1989) Democracy and Its Critics, New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

General Comment No 23 on Article 27 (Rights of Minorities), the Human Rights Committee, UN Doc.A/49/40, 07-110, para 3.1, online: .

General Comment No. 25 (2020) on science and economic, social and cultural rights (Article 15 of ICESCR), E/C12/GC/25, online: < https://docstore.ohchr.org/SelfServices/FilesHandler.ashx?enc=4slQ6QSmlBEDzFEovLCuW1a0Szab0oXTdImnsJZZVQdxONLLLJiul8wRmVtR5Kxx73i0Uz0k13FeZiqChAWHKFuBqp%2B4RaxfUzqSAfyZYAR%2Fq7sqC7AHRa48PPRRALHB>.

Gervis, Daniel, “Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property: A TRIPs Compatible Approach.” Michigan State Law Review (2005).

Duncan, Christopher (2007) “Mixed Outcomes: The Impact of Regional Autonomy and Decentralization on Indigenous Ethnic Minorities in Indonesia” 38 (4) Development and Change. 711-22.

Griffith, John (1986) “What is Legal Pluralism,” 24 (1) Journal of Legal Pluralism.1-46.

Higley, John & Michael Burton (2006) Elite Foundation of Liberal Democracy, New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Holmes, Stephen (2021) “Constitution and Constitutionalism,” in M. Rosenfeld & A. Sajo, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 176-205.

Hossain, Kamrul & Rosa Maria Ballardini, “Protecting Indigenous Traditional Knowledge through a Holistic Principle-Based Approach.” 39 (1) Nordic Journal of Human Rights (2021). 51-72.

Hutchinson, Allan C & Patrick Monahan (1984) “Law, Politics and the Critical Legal Scholars: The Unfolding Drama of American Legal Though,” 36 Stanford Law Rev. 199-245.

Hutchinson, Terry (2006) Researching and Writing in Law, London: Thomson Reuters.

Idak (1982) Perkembangan dan Sejarah Persawahan di Kalimantan Selatan [Development and History of South Kalimantan’s Agricultural Areas], Banjarmasin: Province of South Kalimantan Press 1982 (in Indonesian).
Indrayana, Denny (2005) “Indonesian Constitutional Reform 1999-2002: Evaluation of Constitution-Making in Transition.” PhD diss., School of Law, University of Melbourne.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

International Labor Organization [1989] Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169

Isra, Saldi (2019) “Asymmetry in a Decentralized, Unitary State: Lessons from the Special Regions of Indonesia.” 18 (2) Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe. 43-71.

KPA (2015) “Usulan Pembentukan Unit Kerja Presiden untuk Penyelesaian Konflik Agraria ”http://kpa.or.id/publikasi/baca/kertas_posisi/11/Usulan_Pembentukan_Unit_Kerja_Presiden_untuk_Penyelesaian_Konflik_Agraria/ (accessed May 3, 2021) (in Indonesian).

Li, Tania (2021) “In the Wake of the Plantation: Law and Human Rights in Indonesia 1870-2020” https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-output/law/law-and-human-rights-in-indonesia-1870-2020 (accessed May 3, 2021).

Luhmann, Nilkas (2004) Law as a Social System, trans., K. Ziegert, F. Kastner, R. Nobles, D. Schiff and R. Ziegert, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mann, Michael (1986) The Sources of Social Power, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mauro, Francesco & Preston D Hardison, “Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous and Local Communities: International Debate and Policy Initiatives.” 10 (5) Traditional Knowledge Ecological Application (2000)

McCarthy, John (2007) “Shifting Resource Entitlements and Governance Reform during the Agrarian Transition in Sumatra, Indonesia.” 55 Journal of Legal Pluralism. 95-120.

Mills. Wright C (1956) The Power Elite, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mosca, Gaetano (1959) The Ruling Class, London: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Muehlebach, Andrea, “What Self in Self-Determination? Notes from the Frontiers of Transnational Indigenous Activism” 10 Global Studies in Culture and Power (2003).

Panggabean, Samsu (1998) “Federalisasi dan Demokratisasi Indonesia” [“Federalism and Democratization in Indonesia”] 1(3) JSP. 1-32 (in Indonesian).

Pareto, Vilfredo (1935) The Mind and Society, A. Livingston, ed., New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company.

Provincial Legislation of South Kalimantan Number 3 Year 2016 on Irrigation
Raz, Joseph (1979) The Authority of Law: Essay on Law and Morality, London: Clarendon Press.

Regional Legislation of Barito Kuala regency Number 4 Year 2019 on Sustainable Agriculture

Regional Legislation of Barito Kuala Regency Number 6 Year 2012 on a Long-Term Road Plan of the Barito Kuala Regency

Rival, Alain & Patrice Levang (2014) Palms of Controversies: Oil Palm and Development Challenges, Bogor: Center for International Forestry Research. https://www.cifor.org/knowledge/publication/4860/ (accessed March 20, 2021).

Saidy Akhmad & Yusuf Azis (2009) ‘Sea Level Rise in South Kalimantan, Indonesia – An Economic Analysis of Adaptation Strategies in Agriculture https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/eepreport/rr2009081.htm (accessed March 30, 2021).

Suarez, Sofia Monsalve, “The Human Rights Framework in Contemporary Agrarian Struggles.” 40 (1) The Journal of Peasant Studies (2013). 239-290
Tamanaha, Brian (2021) Legal Pluralism Explained, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tempo (2017) “Jokowi Resmikan Peremajaan Sawit Rakyat di Musi Banyuasin,” https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1024517/jokowi-resmikan-peremajaan-sawit-rakyat-di-musi-banyuasin/full&view=ok (accessed April 2, 2021).

The 1945 Indonesian Constitution (Amended)

The 2021 Bill of South Kalimantan Province

The Guardian (2019) “Why is Indonesia moving its capital city? Everything you need to know,” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/27/why-is-indonesia-moving-its-capital-city-everything-you-need-to-know (accessed April 9, 2021).

The Jakarta Post (2019) “Jokowi’s March of Progress.” https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/07/16/jokowis-march-of-progress.html (accessed April 10, 2021).

Wahyu MS & Nasrullah, “Kearifan Lokal Petani Dayak Bakumpai dalam Pengelolaan Padi di Lahan Rawa Pasang Surut Kabupaten Barito Kuala,” online: < https://ejournal.upi.edu/index.php.societas/article/download/1116/766>.

Warburton, Eve (2017) “Jokowi and the New Developmentalism.” 52 (3) Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies. 297-320.
Watts, Ronald L (2007) Comparing Federal System, Montreal: Queens University Press.

White, James B (1985) “Law as Rhetoric, Rhetoric as Law: The Arts of Cultural and Communal Life,” 52 (2) The University of Chicago Law Rev. 684-702.

Woodman, Gordon (1996) “Legal Pluralism and the Search for Justice,” 40 (2) Journal of African Law. 152-167.

World Growth (2011) “The Economic Benefits of Palm Oil to Indonesia,” www.worldgrowth.org/site/wpcontent/uploads/2012/06/WG_Indonesian_Palm_Oil_Benefits_Report-2_11.pdf (accessed May 1, 2021).

Yasuda, Nobuyuki (2003) “Law and Development from the Southeast Asian Perspective: Methodology, History, and Paradigm Change,” in C. Anton, ed,. Law and Development in East and South Asia, London: RoutledgeCurzon.
Published
2022-12-31
How to Cite
BUANA, Mirza Satria. Struggling with Development. Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 226-249, dec. 2022. ISSN 2599-2147. Available at: <https://jurnal.unej.ac.id/index.php/JSEAHR/article/view/30184>. Date accessed: 20 june 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.19184/jseahr.v6i2.30184.
Section
Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.