Empowering Indigenous Communities Against The State and The Business To Tackle Group Conflict: The Roles Of NGOs In Balancing Power In Democratized Indonesia

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 5:30 PM
Room: Booth 50
Oral Presentation
Afrizal AFRIZAL , Andalas University, Padang, Indonesia

After independence in 1945 the state power was strengthened in Indonesia, while the power of civil society was weakened. Before that, the society was strong, marked by its elements struggled against colonizers in any islands. After independence and during New  Order their power was deteriorated by the state, while the state grew much stronger in power. That socio-political condition created deep political power inequality in the country between the society and the state and the business. This is responsible for the happening of political crises and communal violence during 1998-early 2000s. 1998 was the watershed of democratization in Indonesia leading to decreasing political power inequality. Based on research in the field of agrarian conflict this article is to show how the deep political power inequality between the society and the state as well as the business created wide spread social unrests and the increasing balance of power among them contributes to the creation of peaceful relationship among them. This article would also scrutinize the role of NGOS in empowering society against the state and the business to create just and peaceful Indonesia.  The argument of this article is that the creation of equal political power between the society and the state as well as the business is prerequisite of justice in the utilization of agrarian resources  and NGO contribution is vital to that.