Bandon Bay, on the east coast of peninsular Thailand, has seen rapid development of coastal aquaculture since the 1970s. It has also seen the emergence of conflict between fishermen and aquaculture farmers over competing claims on marine resources. This article examines the roles of state initiatives, environmental changes, and natural disasters in the development of these conflicts.
Blood cockle aquaculture was introduced to Bandon Bay through state policies that incentivized in-migration and the establishment of “cooperative communities.” After significant damage due to natural disasters in the late 1980s, large-scale government-sponsored rehabilitation projects and an associated influx of capital gave aquaculture a “great leap forward.” Environmental changes and government policies triggered adaptations by farmers that led to an expansion of cultivation into new—and illegal—areas, and a transformation of cultivation from small-scale to large-scale farms.
The expansion of the aquaculture area brought about conflicts over the use of coastal resources between aquaculture farmers and coastal fishermen. Yet these two communities that had developed from agricultural settlement in the early 1980s had no traditional means of negotiation and bargaining to resolve the conflicts and therefore relied on deep connections to the bureaucratic system rather than relations with each other.
This article discusses volunteer movements active during the Indonesian presidential election of 2014, with a focus on volunteers in two troubled regions. The first group of volunteers consists of survivors of the Lapindo mudflow disaster in Sidoarjo, East Java, who are united in Korban Lapindo Menggugat (KLM, Victims of Lapindo Accuse); while the second consists of residents of Stren Kali, Surabaya, who were forcibly evicted and later united through Paguyuban Warga Stren Kali Surabaya (PWSS, Association of Residents of Stren Kali Surabaya). This article attempts to answer two questions: first, how did KLM and PWSS transform themselves into volunteer movements in support of Jokowi? And, second, what actions were taken by KLM and PWSS in support of Jokowi?
The transformation of KLM and PWSS into volunteer movements was intended to resolve issues that the groups had already faced for several years. Their acts were self-serving ones, albeit not based in individual economic interests but rather collective political ones. They were instrumentalist, negotiating an exchange of their support for Jokowi’s assistance in resolving their groups’ issues. Jokowi was supported because he offered a victory through which the groups’ issues could be resolved. Furthermore, these groups’ actions were to meet concrete short-term goals.
This article attempts to explore the controversy surrounding eigendom land (land owned under colonial state management rights) in Surabaya and its relations with the enforcement of the Basic Principles of Agrarian Law (BAL), in an effort to realize the ideals of the Republic of Indonesia—justice and prosperity for all people. The enactment of the BAL, which independently regulated land tenure and ownership, was a milestone in the autonomy of postcolonial Indonesia. One of the effects of the law was agrarian reform, which led to most eigendom land becoming tanah negara, or state-controlled land. This eigendom land has been used for public housing, though some consider such usage to deviate from the BAL. In recent years, the issue has led to conflict between settlers of eigendom land and the municipal government of Surabaya. This article concludes that the existence of eigendom land in the postcolonial era is a reality and its impact can be seen in the form of residents being driven to oppose the government. If the law were consistent with the BAL, there would be no land with eigendom status in Indonesia. The best hope for achieving justice and welfare for the people of Indonesia, in accordance with the goals of agrarian reform, is to convert the status of all eigendom land to the types of land rights determined by BAL.
This article examines the impact of urban expansion on a peri-urban village of Hanoi. It seeks to understand how villagers reacted to the decision by Hanoi city to take their agricultural land for urban projects. By exploring the forms of land protest adopted in this community and the diverse factors that shaped reactions in this particular case, the article contributes to the literature on responses to land confiscation in Vietnam and elsewhere. The paper shows a community divided over recent land confiscations and the complexity of the politics of resistance in land disputes in modern-day Vietnam.
For a number of scholars, syncretism as an analytical approach to a group’s or an individual’s religiosity has several shortcomings. Denoting the mixture of tenets or practices belonging to different traditions, syncretism presupposes a clearly demarcated boundary between the syncretized traditions (McDaniel 2011, 17). It also implies scholarly wrought labels and categories, which are hardly shared by the people whose religiosity becomes the subject of academic scrutiny (Tambiah 1970, 42; T. G. Kirsch 2004, 706). In this paper I demonstrate that despite its shortcomings, syncretism can be employed to expound vernacular Thai Buddhism, whose heterogeneous composition has been argued to be “beyond syncretism” (Pattana 2005, 461). Ethnographic cases presented in this paper reveal that several Thai Buddhists, noting a dissonance between the doctrine of karma and the belief in magic, differentiate Buddhist from non-Buddhist elements. The rationalization they employ to resolve this dissonance is a syncretistic activity that renders their multifarious religiosity internally consistent and meaningful. These cases challenge the assumption that syncretism is inapplicable to the highly diversified and hybrid ways Thai Buddhists observe their faith since they neither draw the boundary between diverse religious tenets and customs nor adhere to a single orthodox ideal.
This article elucidates the idea of religious pluralism within the Indonesian Theosophical Society (ITS) during the pre-independence period (1900–40). ITS is perhaps the “hidden pearl” in the history of Indonesian spiritual movements in the early twentieth century. It seems that many Indonesians themselves do not know about the existence of ITS in the pre-independence era and its role in spreading a peaceful and inclusive religious understanding. The organization of ITS was legally approved by Theosophical Society headquarters in Adyar, India, at the end of the nineteenth century. For more than 30 years in the early part of the twentieth century ITS discussed the idea of religious pluralism, spreading the value of harmony among believers in the Indonesian Archipelago and managing “multireligious and cultural education” in order to appreciate the diversity and differences of the Nusantara people. This article also shows that the religious understanding of Theosophical Society members in the archipelago is different from the spiritual views of TS figures at headquarters in Adyar. ITS members’ religious views were influenced by factors such as European and American spiritualism, Indian religion and spirituality, Chinese religion, and the intermixture of Javanese mysticism (kejawen) and Javanese Islam (santri).