State Power to Persist: Contemporary Forms of Forest Access Control

Nancy Lee Peluso

in Rich Forests, Poor People

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780520073777
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520915534 | DOI:
State Power to Persist: Contemporary Forms of Forest Access Control

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The reorganization of the State Forestry Corporation of Java (Perum Perhutani or SFC), under Soeharto's New Order and the economic growth thrust of the New Order state, characterized Forestry's initial reappropriation of the forests of Java. The key questions examined in this chapter are whether and to what extent Indonesian forestry is new and different under the New Order. It considers the persistence of colonial characteristics in their Indonesian form: the composition and role of the SFC, the role of forestry in the political economy of Indonesia, and the misconnection between scientific forestry and the social and economic needs of local people. The chapter also looks at how the SFC has tried to address these constraints through repressive and preventive approaches to forest security. The conclusion is that the persistence of colonial forms of forest management is legitimated by three “old” ideologies: (1) that state forestry serves the greatest good of the greatest number of people; (2) that scientific forestry is an efficient and rational form of resource use; and (3) that promoting economic growth through forest production for the state is the key component of the forester's role. These ideologies neither match local people's views of the forest, nor contribute to forest villagers' development.

Keywords: Java; Indonesia; forestry policies; State Forestry Corporation; Soeharto; New Order; forest management

Chapter.  14203 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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