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Scrutinising Nusantara: the making of an authoritarian city

Amir, Sulfikar (2023) Scrutinising Nusantara: the making of an authoritarian city. Southeast Asia Working Paper Series (5). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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In August 2019, Indonesian President Joko Widodo unexpectedly announced the plan to build a new capital called Nusantara. It will relocate the capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan by 2024. This paper critically examines Indonesia’s ambition to build Nusantara within a short time. In this paper, a narrative policy framework is applied to unpack the core reasons and assumptions that underpin Widodo’s adamant decision to carry out a large-scale urban project of the new capital despite social and financial constraints. By interrogating two fundamental fallacies underlying the Nusantara project, in the rationales and the construction process, I show how the new capital project is deeply problematic. The notion of techno-nationalist urbanism is proposed to underline the contradiction in the logic and rationality of Nusantara’s urban system as a result of authoritarian symptoms. Further, the paper links Nusantara to the nature of power embodied in Widodo’s strong desire for a legacy and its impact on Indonesian democracy in the future.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD100 Land Use
Date Deposited: 15 May 2023 15:09
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:30

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