The 36th Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prizes

“NETWORKED:Business and Politics in Decentralizing Indonesia 1998-2004”(Kyoto University Press, 2018)

Wahyu Prasetyawan(Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University, Tangerang Selatan, Banten, Indonesia)

 I am very honoured to receive the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the board members of the foundation and to the selection committee.
 In contrast to existing explanations about the Indonesian political economy, Networked: Business and Politics in Decentralizing Indonesia, 1998-2004 argues that networks, links among the politicians in the central and provincial government, have played an increasingly prominent role in the decentralizing Indonesia after the fall of the New Order government in 1998. The book explains the political networks and how they are regulated and operated in certain institutions. The book asks why Indonesian political economy should be better explained with the network analytical framework.
Existing explanations on Indonesian political have overlooked an important phenomenon of links among politicians. After the fall of Suharto in Indonesia in 1998, the new government under B.J. Habibie introduced a decentralization policy that dramatically changed relations between the central and local governments. Under decentralization, local governments engaged in bureaucratic and political conflict with the central government over control of natural resources and fairer distribution of rents from these resources. Local elites demanded greater involvement in shaping economic and political institutions.
Decentralization is among the most important political economic developments in Indonesia over the last thirty years. The book evaluates three cases (in the provinces of East Kalimantan, West Sumatra, and Riau) of deep-seated political conflict and intrigue implicating central government, local governments and multinational companies. The book shows how competition to manage and control Indonesia’s vast natural resources is no longer limited to national level interests, nor can it be restricted only to the local level. The study elucidates changes in the structure of the national political economy as the result of deep engagement of local actors in disputes with the central government over control of natural resources. These changes mean new patterns of distribution of natural resource rents, with implications for Indonesia’s evolving democratic politics and modes of governance.
 This award greatly encourages me to engage in further studies regarding networks and political economy and how they interact with other countries in the region. Through this research, I hope that a better understanding of the networks as analytical analysis will promote cooperation, and contribute to a stronger sense of community in the Pacific Basin.
For last but not least, I express my gratitude to my teacher Prof. Takashi Shiraishi, colleagues, publishers, friends, family members, and Indonesian people who have given various forms of support and encouragement to me.

PhD is a senior lecturer at Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University (UIN) in Jakarta. He also teaches since 2007 in spring term in GRIPS (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies) in Tokyo, Japan. He obtained bachelor degree on Psychology of Religion at Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University. He received MA Development Studies from Leeds University, UK; and received PhD in Political Economy from Kyoto University. He had published journal articles inleading academic journals on political economy in Indonesia. He carries out research on political economy, mining industry, economic growth and democratization where he specifically looking at identity politics.


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