State Actors in Agrarian Conflicts

A Judicial Review in Rule of Law Perspective


This study focuses on the involvement of state actors in agrarian conflict. Various policies have been introduced in order to resolve the agrarian conflicts. However, the existence of these policies did not necessarily bring about positive changes in the subsequent years. From 2012 to 2022 (a decade), agrarian conflicts have become increasingly uncontrollable. Throughout the year 2022, there were at least 212 eruptions of agrarian conflicts in various investment and corporate-based business sectors. Permits, concessions, and land rights continued to be granted to companies, even though these companies had caused numerous agrarian conflicts within the community. The implementation of the rule of law concept has not been able to be fully realized as it should. The ongoing agrarian conflicts have demonstrated how the state acts based on power when directly dealing with the community. Using the theories of legitimacy and space production, the issues regarding agrarian conflicts and the state actors involved will be analyzed in-depth.


Keywords: Agrarian Conflict, State Actors, Rule of Law


Agrarian Reform Consortium, Buried Agrarian Justice for the People through Agrarian Reform, 2012 Final Report of the Agrarian Reform Consortium, by Agrarian Reform Consortium (2012).

Aju, Dismas, “Dayak Rejects Replanting of Wilmar International Plantation in West Kalimantan”, (6 February 2022), online: .

Alao, Abiodun, Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa: The Tragedy of Endowment (New York: University of Rochester Press, 2007).

Antoro, Kus Sri, “Anatomy of the Concept of Agrarian Conflict Resolution: A Comparative Study Between the Policy Realm and the Agrarian Struggle Realm” (2013) 37 BHUMI: Jurnal Agraria dan Pertanahan 28–48.

Arrsa, Ria Casmi, “Indications of Criminalization of Human Rights Defenders in Agrarian Disputes” (2014) 7:1 Judicial Journal 53–69.

Asrun, Muhammad, “Human Rights Within the Framework of the Ideal of a Legal State” (2016) 4:1 Journal of Legal Aspirations.

Asshiddiqie, Jimly, Indonesian Constitution and Constitutionalism (Jakarta: Sinar Grafa, 2005).

Borras, Saturnino M & Jennifer C Franco, Democratic Land Governance and Some Policy Recommendations, by Saturnino M Borras & Jennifer C Franco (United Nations Development Program-Oslo Governance Center Democratic Governance Group Bureau for Development Policy, 2008).

Brockett, Charles D, “The Structure of Political Opportunities and Peasant Mobilization in Central America” (1991) 23:3 Comparative Politics 253.

Bryant, Raymond L & Sinead Bailey, Third World Political Ecology (London: Routledge, 1997).

Budy, Fidel, “Political reactions from below to Sime Darby land grab: Generational shift, geographical reach, rural influencers and multi-stakeholder alliance” (2020) 76 Journal of Rural Studies.

Cahyati, Devy Dhian, “Fighting Actors in the Conflict over Land Control and Iron Sand Mining in Urut Sewu” (2014) 39 BHUMI: Jurnal Agraria dan Pertanahan 369–386.

Caouette, Dominique & Sarah Turner, Agrarian Angst and Rural Resistance in Contemporary Southeast Asia (London: Routledge, 2009).

Capistrano, Doris & Carol J Pierce Colfer, “Decentralization: Issues, Lessons, and Reflections” in Doris Capistrano & Carol J Pierce Colfer, eds, The Politics of Decentralization: Forests, Power and People (Bogor: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), 2006) 367.

Consortium for Agrarian Reform, Embers of Agrarian Conflict: PTPN Untouched, Criminalization of People Increases, 2022 Final Report of the Agrarian Reform Consortium, by Consortium for Agrarian Reform (2022).

———, Final Notes 2021: National Scale Evictions (PSN), Launch Edition of the Conflict Situation Report and Agrarian Policy for the Second Year of the Pandemic, by Consortium for Agrarian Reform (2021).

Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Summary of Decision in Case Number 21-22/Puu-V/2007 Concerning State Power in Investment Activities (2007).

Dickerson, Reed, The Fundamentals of Legal Drafting, first edition ed (Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1965).

Erwiningsih, Winahyu, “Implementation of regulations on state control rights over land according to the 1945 Constitution” (2009) 16:Special Issue Jurnal Hukum IUS QUIA IUSTUM.

Fauzi, Noer, Understanding Third World People’s Movements, Herlily, ed (Yogyakarta: Insist Press, 2005).

Fauzi, Yulianna, “Ministry of ATR about HGB Investor IKN Can be 160 Years: Not Violating the Law”, CNN Indonesia (2022), online: .

Hakim, Lukman, “State Organ Authority in the Administration of Government” (2011) 4:1 Jurnal Konstitusi.

Hamdani, Ahmad & Syaukani Ichsan, The Urgency of People’s Testimony to Resolve the Kalibakar Plantation Conflict, by Ahmad Hamdani & Syaukani Ichsan (Sajogjyo Institute, STPN, 2021).

Hardiyanto, Barid, Agrarian Reform: Returning to Khittah, by Barid Hardiyanto (Sajogjyo Institute, STPN, 2022).

Harvey, David, The New Imperialism, Clarendon Lectures in Geography and Environmental Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Hidayat, Arief, Governing the State is Not Easy, in the Perspective of Politics and Law (Semarang, 2010).

Ismail, Nurhasan, Land Law Development: An Economic-Political Approach (Yogyakarta: Collaboration between Human Relations and Master of Law UGM, 2007).

Karim, Muhammad Satria Abdul, “The Immanence of Fascism and Sovereignty: Giorgio Agamben’s Critique of the State of Exception” (2020) 5:2 JAQFI: Journal of Islamic Aqidah and Philosophy 154–171.

Kartodirdjo, Sartono & Djoko Suryo, History of Indonesian Plantations: A Socio-Economic Study. (Yogyakarta: Aditya Media, 1991).

Manullang, E Fernando M, Corporatism and the 1945 Constitution: Legal Interpretation of the Text of the 1945 Constitution and the Proceedings of the Investigating Body for Independence Efforts (BPUPK) and the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI) on the Influence of Corporatism Values (Jakarta: Nuansa Aulia, 2010).

Marger, Martin N & Phillip J Obermiller, “Emergent ethnicity among internal migrants” (1987) 7:1–17 Ethnic Groups.

Maulana, Ilham Rizkia & Mohamad Shohibuddin, “Zone of Political Interaction and Government Actor Responses: The Case of Agrarian Struggle in Nanggung, Bogor Regency” (2022) 13:1 Politika: Jurnal Ilmu Politik 75–100.

MD, Moh Mahfud, Building legal politics, upholding the Constitution, first edition ed (Jakarta: LP3ES, 2006).

Muntaqo, Firman, Political Character of Land Law in the New Order and Reform Era (Semarang: Print 1, 2010).

Negoita, Marian, “The Always Embedded State: Six Types of State-Society Interaction” (2018) 8 International Review of Social Research 172–184.

Qamar, Nurul et al, State of Law or State of Power (Rechtsstaat or Machtstaat) (Makassar: CV. Social Politic Genius (SIGn), 2018).

Rachman, Noer Fauzi, “The Chain of Explanation of Chronic, Systemic, and Widespread Agrarian Conflicts in Indonesia” (2013) 37 BHUMI: Jurnal Agraria dan Pertanahan 1–14.

Rachman, Noer Fauzi, Farmers and Rulers: Dynamics of the Journey of Indonesian Agrarian Politics (Yogyakarta: InsistPress, 2017).

Radbruch, Gustav, “Law?s Image of the Human” (2020) 40:4 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 667–681.

Redaksi Lentera Today, “Warga Tegalrejo dan PTPN XII Pancursari Terlibat Sengketa lahan Sejak 2016”, Lentera Today (25 July 2022), online: .

Ribot, Jesse & Nancy Peluso, “A Theory of Access” (2003) 68:2 Rural Sociology 153–181.

Riwanto, Agus, Legal Politics of the Indonesian Welfare State Post-Reformation, first printing ed (Mojolaban Sukoharjo: Oase Pustaka, 2018).

Rusdianto, Eko, “Residents’ Land Dispute vs State Palm Oil Company in East Luwu”, (2021), online: .

Rutten, Rosanne et al, “Smallholder bargaining power in large-scale land deals: a relational perspective” (2017) 44:4 The Journal of Peasant Studies 891–917.

Safitri, Myrna A et al, “Towards Tenure Certainty and Justice” (2011).

Sanin, Saffon & Maria Paula, When Theft Becomes Grievance: Dispossessions as a Cause of Redistributive Land Claims in 20th Century Latin America Columbia University, 2015) [unpublished].

Schmitt, Carl, Legality and Legitimacy (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004).

———, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006).

Scott, Alwyn, The nonlinear universe: chaos, emergence, life (Berlin: Springer, 2007).

Shohibuddin, Mohammad, Agrarian Philosophy: Constitutional Perspective, by Mohammad Shohibuddin (Sajogyo Institute, STPN, 2022).

Sinambela, Lijan Poltak et al, Public Service Reform Theory, Policy and Implementation (Jakarta: Bumi Aksara, 2008).

Soemarwi, Vera, “Legitimizing State Action Based on Power (Machstaat): Review of Decision Number 95/B/2017/PT.TUN.JKT” (2019) 12:2 Jurnal Yudisial 141.

Sukirno, “Reconstruction of Regulations for the Acceleration of Customary Forest Recognition” (2019) 7:1 Progressive Law Journal.

Suryadi, “The land conflict between the Pantai Raja customary community vs PTPN V has never ended”, (17 April 2021), online: .

Suryajaya, Martin, History of Classical Political Thought: From Prehistory to the 4th Century AD (Tangerang: Marjin Kiri, 2016).

Tarrow, Sidney, “Social Movements in Contentious Politics: A Review Article” (1996) 90:4 The American Political Science Review 874–883.

Tauchid, Mochamad, Agrarian Problems: As a Problem of Livelihood and Prosperity of the Indonesian People-Book II (Jakarta: Tjakrawala Djakarta, 1953).

Warassih, Esmi, Legal Institutions: A Sociological Study (Semarang: Pustaka Magister Publishers, 2016).

Wiradi, Gunawan, The Ins and Outs of Agrarian Problems: Agrarian Reform and Agrarian Research (Bogor: SAINS Press, 2009).

Yunus, Nur Rohim, Basic Theory of Constitutional Law Research (Jakarta: Poskolegnas, 2017).

Zein, Yahya Ahmad & Dewi Nurvianti, “Conceptions of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights as Human Rights” (2017) 3:2 Veritas et Justisia.
How to Cite
RAHMAWATI, Etika; RAHAYU, Esmi Warassih Pudji; SUKIRNO, Sukirno. State Actors in Agrarian Conflicts. Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 2, p. 276-298, dec. 2023. ISSN 2599-2147. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 july 2024. doi:

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.