Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Return of the Sultans: The Communitarian Turn in Local Politics

THE REVIVAL OF TRADITION IN INDONESIAN POLITICS: THE DEPLOYMENT OF ADAT FROM COLONIALISM TO INDIGENISM, Jamie Davidson and David Henley, eds, pp. 149-169, London: Routledge, 2007

28 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2008 Last revised: 2 Feb 2009

Date Written: December 1, 2008

Abstract

Sultanship - of the 'weekend' kind - has become perhaps the symbol par excellence of local identity in Indonesia's autonomy era. It is part of the communitarian turn in Indonesian politics after the end of the New Order. Identities are being revived or invented at a great rate, especially at the district level. For the researcher this is both surprising and dilemmatic. Surprising, because the autonomy process has been more often discussed in modernising terms of administrative efficiency and local democracy. Sultans were not meant to be part of the equation, but they are. We need to bridge an empirical gap. Dilemmatic because we as western-trained researchers hardly know how to respond to this revival of pre-republican authority symbols. Is this a good thing because tradition integrates a society buffeted by winds of social change? Or a bad thing because it represents feudalism? Here we face a theoretical gap.

Keywords: democratic transition, local autonomy, monarchy, tradition, identity, conservatism

Suggested Citation

van Klinken, Gerry, Return of the Sultans: The Communitarian Turn in Local Politics (December 1, 2008). THE REVIVAL OF TRADITION IN INDONESIAN POLITICS: THE DEPLOYMENT OF ADAT FROM COLONIALISM TO INDIGENISM, Jamie Davidson and David Henley, eds, pp. 149-169, London: Routledge, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1309406

Gerry Van Klinken (Contact Author)

KITLV ( email )

Reuvensplaats 2
Leiden, 2311BE
Netherlands
+31-71-5272635 (Phone)
+31-71-5272638 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kitlv.nl

Paper statistics

Downloads
398
Rank
60,953
Abstract Views
2,276