National Culture, Local Concerns: Debating Otonomi Daerah
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This paper presents a cultural analysis of the autonomy debates of a certain intellectual elite in Jakarta, as reflected in the print media, who are challenging the cultural politics of the New Order regime. I discuss three aspects of the approach of various intellectuals to key areas in the autonomy debates, which come to embody challenges to New Order cultural politics. These areas are: national unity; relationship to the global economy; and the 'democratisation' of local politicians and officials.The first section of this paper discusses the circumstances that fashioned the autonomy laws. The second section develops an understanding of the New Order regime's 'national culture' and its relationship to the regime's administrative approach. The third section examines the use of the legislation by the intellectual elite to contest New Order cultural politics.
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