Lecture Theatre 2, 15:00- 16:30
Chair: Md Juel Rana Kutub


The roots of contemporary moral economy in rural Indonesia
Colum Graham, PhD candidate, Australian National University

Over forty years ago, the concept of moral economy in rural Southeast Asia was theorised in terms of risk aversion and subsistence safety informing villagers’ decision-making, rather than profit maximization. More recent macro level economic changes in Indonesia have also influenced its rural society. Subsistence crisis is no longer the threat it once was to rural Indonesia, yet moral economy is still a useful concept for showing difference between commercial and village economic practice. Agricultural production is the dominant economic activity in the moral economy of a village called Kalijati in East Java where I have undertaken research for a combined 18 months. This paper argues that there are two aspects underpinning Kalijati’s contemporary moral economy. Firstly, the production process of rice, maize, and red shallots remains highly personalised. Alienating produce into commodities by increasing distance, sorting, and coercion occurs more beyond the village than within rendering processes of production personalised. Further, self-exploitation, exchange labour practices, the density of population, long-term social relations, and households maintaining multiple sources of debt imbues the production process and produce with moral value that influences decision-making about maximizing profit. Secondly, the purpose of profit also informs Kalijati’s moral economy. The purpose of maximizing profit in Kalijati is mainly for the reliable servicing of debts to negotiate status in a social hierarchy informed by local values. By getting at the root of people’s morality, their debts, this paper aims to contribute to the renewal of the moral economy concept (Fassin 2009; Granovetter 2017).

Colum Graham is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University. His most recent writing has appeared in the Journal of Development Studies and the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies.  



Changing concepts of community empowerment in state-led rural development policies in Indonesia from 1967 to 2018
Ajie Saksono, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Canberra

This study analyses the impact of development policies towards marginalised groups in rural Indonesia from 1967 to 2018. I argue that marginalised groups relatively receive more benefits from current decentralised programs than from the past centralised programs. Following Kabeer’s concept of citizenship (2011; 2012), this project examines the state-society relations between the government and rural people. By using this concept, I will critically analyse how the variables of state-society relations cause disempowerment or, conversely, empowerment to rural development beneficiaries. I highlight how “status (the rights protection)” and “practice (freedom to act)” have affected the outcomes of development programs. Using reviews of the literature, this study shows how the flagships of early agricultural development programs, BIMAS and PIR program (1967-1996) neglected small farmers and low-skilled workers. Subsequently, three main poverty reduction programs of IDT, PPK and PNPM (1994-2015) have failed to reduce rural poverty significantly because they excluded the involvement of the rural poor. Moreover, using observations, interviews, and focus group discussion in three cases of current decentralised development programs (in Bantaeng, Kulonprogo and Banyuwangi Regencies), this study analyses how the variables of state-society relations have changed or not changed from hindering to promoting empowerment towards marginalised groups. How does the rural community empowerment change? How do decentralised rural development programs promote or not promote empowerment to their beneficiaries? Within “empowerment” discourse, this research will contribute to understanding comprehensively of the state-society relations, not only as the way of promoting empowerment in rural development but also as the source of marginalised groups’ disempowerment. For policy-making, this research will contribute to propose inclusive rural development policies.

Ajie Saksono is a PhD candidate at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra. Saksona is a local Government (Public Sector) practitioner with extensive experience (17 years) in development planning, public management, poverty reduction policy, and community empowerment policy. Prior to study at UNSW Canberra, Saksona was working for the Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) in Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.



Seeking legitimacy for governance innovations in a decentralised Indonesia: The case of Batang Regency, Central Java
Adi Adyawarman, PhD Candidate, University of Canberra

Many scholars have examined public sector innovation from technical and managerial perspectives (i.e. effectiveness and efficiency) but overlooked the importance of legitimacy for credibility and/or continuity of such initiatives (Suchman, 1995). Since legitimacy reflects the compatibility between government outputs and public expectations (Stillman, 1974), it will serve to secure specific public support and common acceptance of particular innovation which often contains “creative destruction” impacts, including challenging the existing environment and removing inappropriate privileges of some groups. This research investigates how new public leaders in Batang Regency created and maintained legitimacy for governance innovations under considerations as follows: While the former Regent and Local Council Chairmen were sentenced due to corruption case, in contrast, Regent Yoyok (2012-2017) prioritised governance innovations (UPKP2 Local Ombudsman and Budget Festival) which have been acknowledged by various institutions, including the awarding of Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award in 2015.  Both Regent Yoyok and Vice Regent Soetadi had no affiliation to the political party and did not recontest in the 2017 Local Election. Alternatively, they embraced local NGOs in governance innovations and maintained a close relation with national-baseda watchdog NGOs (ICW, TII). Adapting the legitimacy framework from Suchman (1995) in the institutionalism study, this research reveals how new public leaders in Batang built legitimacy for governance innovations by employing multiple legitimation strategy (conforming, selecting and manipulating) to acquire several types of legitimacy (pragmatic, moral and cognitive). They may opt for an individual strategy or combine these three strategies to build legitimacy in any combination, concurrently or sequentially as fits the situation.

Adi Adyawarmancompleted his undergraduate in international relations at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia and MA Degree (Development Management) at Ruhr Universitaat Bochum, Germany. Adi has been working in the Ministry of State Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia since 1998. His assignments were mostly in the field of International Technical Cooperation and Policy Analysis.



Good Governance Implementation at the Local Context: The case of Sleman Regency, Special Province of Yogyakarta Indonesia
Bagus Wahyu Hartono, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Sydney

One of the critical pillars of good governance is the role of the community in the policy making process. This paper discusses the practice of good governance, especially in evaluating community participation related to the formulation of public policy in the budgeting process of local government. Good governance practices indicate that the budgeting process should be carried out in a participatory and transparent manner. In a democratic system of government discourse, public participation is one important indicator. Wagle (2000:214) argues that democracy only has meaning if the community is involved in the process of making all kinds of public policies produced by the government. Participatory budgeting is not only a useful tool for realizing accountable government policies, but also it raises government legitimacy because of an increase in institutional capacity in policy making (Ingram and Smith 1993). In addition to the formal mechanisms, this paper also identifies the existence of informal participation through social capital in the community as an essential part of daily good governance practices. Analysing the participatory budgeting process shows how local government plays the role, and other actors are working in the process of formulating public policies.

Bagus Wahyu Hartono is a PhD candidate in Politics at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Bagus completed his MA in Public Administration at International Christian University, Tokyo Japan in 2005, and BA in Applied Governmental Sciences at Institute of Governmental Sciences in Jatinangor, West Java Indonesia in 2000. His research interest includes decentralization, local development and governance, where he previously worked as a local government officer at Sleman Regency, Special Province of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Before coming to Australia, Bagus was a teaching assistant at the Institute of Governmental Sciences, Indonesia.  His research mainly focuses on analysing the practices of good governance as a major policy agenda within decentralization policy framework in local government.