Land, Trees, and Gold: The Politics of Resource Claims by Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia

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This dissertation analyzes the process of claims-making over natural resources in Indonesia, particularly within conservation zones. Using a framework of marginalization and inequality in the distribution and access to natural resources, I explore the varying routes that indigenous communities in Indonesia have taken for making claims on the land they inhabit and cultivate. I analyze the legal, cultural, and spatial claims the indigenous community, Kasepuhan Banten Kidul, has made to the Gunung Halimun Salak National Park lands in West Java, Indonesia. Specifically, I explore the scales for these claims and the actors actively participating in this struggle for resource access and use, including local, civil society, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and government bodies. There are three main areas of research within this dissertation. The first area is focused on the indigenous identity of the Kasepuhan and how they have used aspects of their understanding of indigeneity in order to make claims to land. The second research theme explores the participatory mapping efforts of the Kasepuhan and the different responses the communities in the region have toward NGO-led projects. The third area of research is focused on the legal systems (statutory and customary) interacting in the lives of the local indigenous population. All three themes combine to critically investigate the various ways (cultural, technical, and legal) that indigenous peoples make claims to their land and other natural resources.

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Development; Indigeneity; Southeast Asian studies; land; Natural resource management; natural resources


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Union Local


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Pfeffer, Max John

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Fiskesjo, Nils Magnus G
Nadasdy, Paul
Colfer, Carol J.

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Development Sociology

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Ph.D., Development Sociology

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document




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dissertation or thesis

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