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Gotong Royong: An Indigenous Institution of Communality and Mutual Assistance in Indonesia

  • L. Jan SlikkerveerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Cooperative Management book series (COMA)

Abstract

This Chapter addresses a widely spread traditional institution in Indonesia known as Gotong Royong in which the active involvement of the indigenous communities has also contributed to the successful implementation of the ‘bottom-up’ approach of Integrated Community-Managed Development (ICMD). Since such local institutions are part of a wider system of indigenous knowledge, practices and beliefs based on the traditional cosmologies, they are crucial for the integration of global systems from outside and local systems from inside the communities. The active involvement of these indigenous institutions—so far largely ignored in development policies and programmes—have shown to enhance local participation in development-oriented intervening activities from outside. Embarking on the dual spirit of the communal service and mutual assistance of Gotong Royong, which has survived for many generations to provide a strong identity to Indonesia’s village culture, the Chapter also underscores that since independence it has become a pan-Indonesian institution providing a binding force among the various sub-cultures of Indonesia with important cultural and socio-political significance for the unity of the nation. Furthermore, the debate on communalism versus individualism is described in relation to the dimension of the collectivism of Gotong Royong. The Chapter concludes that the (re-)integration of these indigenous institutions into development policies and programmes can indeed contribute to increased local involvement and participation of all community members, and as such pertains to the realisation of poverty reduction and sustainable development throughout Indonesia.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEAD, Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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