Eve WarburtonNov 15, 2023
Resource Nationalism in Indonesia
Booms, Big Business, and the State
Cornell University Press 2023
In Resource Nationalism in Indonesia: Booms, Big Business, and the State (Cornell UP, 2023), Eve Warburton traces nationalist policy trajectories in Indonesia back to the preferences of big local business interests. Commodity booms often prompt more nationalist policy styles in resource-rich countries. Usually, this nationalist push weakens once a boom is over. But in Indonesia, a major global exporter of coal, palm oil, nickel, and other minerals, the intensity of nationalist policy interventions increased after the early twenty-first century commodity boom came to an end. Equally puzzling, the state applied nationalist policies unevenly across the land and resource sectors.
Resource Nationalism in Indonesia explains these trends by examining the economic and political benefits that accrue to domestic business actors when commodity prices soar. Warburton shows how the centrality of patronage to Indonesia's democratic political economy, and the growing importance of mining and palm oil as a drivers of export earnings, enhanced both the instrumental and structural power of major domestic companies, giving them new influence over the direction of nationalist change.
Eve Warburton is Director of the ANU Indonesia Institute and a Research Fellow in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University.
Professor Michele Ford is the Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia.