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The edge of glory: theorising centre-periphery relations in and from Indonesia's Riau

Long, Nicholas J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4088-1661 (2017) The edge of glory: theorising centre-periphery relations in and from Indonesia's Riau. In: Haug, Michaela, Rössler, Martin and Grumblies, Anna-Teresa, (eds.) Rethinking power relations in Indonesia: transforming the margins. Taylor & Francis Group, London, UK, pp. 65-79. ISBN 9781138962781

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Scholarship on centre-periphery relations in Indonesia is often rooted in an epistemology of that derives from the institutions and knowledge practices of the modern state. This has left Indonesianists are well-positioned to appreciate the impacts of decentralisation and regional autonomy upon statecraft and political movements, but only partially aware of how such reforms have affected ‘the construction of marginality’ (Haug et al, this volume) in its broadest sense. This chapter expands the conversation by giving centre-stage to the political imaginations of people who rarely talked about centre-periphery relations, but nevertheless revealed themselves to be profoundly invested in them. These investments came to the fore in intense, affectively charged moments, the study of which reveals that decentralisation can be as much about the desire for connection as it can be about autonomy; that life in a borderland can engender distinctive responsibilities towards a centre; and that the bodily and psychic legacies of past marginality continue to stand out as problems in the decentralised present. Such material indicates that we should avoid any hasty conclusions about the ‘effects’ of decentralisation, as if administrative reforms in and of themselves are capable of creating new ‘centre-periphery relations’. My argument instead is that decentralisation has created new conditions of possibility under which Indonesians can attempt to realise the imaginaries of ‘centre-periphery relations’ that are meaningful and desirable to them. Affects and ethics underpinning local ideas about how Indonesia’s periphery should relate to its centre should therefore take centre-stage in analysis.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Michaela Haug, Martin Rössler and Anna-Teresa Grumblies
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 10:51
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2021 00:04

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