East Sulawesi Province: The Politics of Transcending Boundaries

  • Riwanto Tirtosudarmo


This chapter is an account on local political dynamics in Central Sulawesi following the newly implemented decentralisation policy. The granted autonomy to the district level of government has resulted in the spitting of many regions into a number of new districts in Central Sulawesi, in which overlapping cultural identities, particularly ethnicity and religion, with the geographical space are common. These situations provide a good ammunition for the local elites to mobilise people to support the creation of new districts. As the number of new districts rapidly increased, the local elites began to think about creating a new province, splitting from the current Central Sulawesi province. The negotiating processes among the different political groupings are followed and assessed in this chapter. It is surprising that the consensus to create the new province that will be called as East Sulawesi province is conducted and organised not on the basis of any cultural identities. The consensus that is slowly built among the proponents of new province reflects the politics of transcending cultural boundaries that is a rather rare feature of post-Suharto’s politics.


Decentralisation Identity politics Cultural boundaries New province Central Sulawesi 


  1. Bubandt, N., & Molnar, A. (2004). On the margins of conflict: Violence, politics and every day life in eastern Indonesia. Antropologi Indonesia, 28(74), i–vii.Google Scholar
  2. Davidson, J. S. (2005). Decentralisation and regional violence in the post–Suharto state. In M. Erb et al. (Eds.), Regionalism in post-Suharto Indonesia. Routledge Curzon: London and New York.Google Scholar
  3. Dhakidae, D. (Ed.). (1999). Federalisme untuk Indonesia. Jakarta: Kompas–Gramedia.Google Scholar
  4. Diprose, R. (2007). Passing on the challenges or prescribing better management of diversity: Decentralization, power-sharing, and conflict dynamics in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. CRISE Working Paper No. 38.Google Scholar
  5. Harvey, B. S. (1989). Pemberontakan Kahar Muzakkar: Dari tradisi ke DI/TII (Kahar Muzakkar rebellion: From tradition to DI/TII). Jakarta: Grafiti Press.Google Scholar
  6. Henley, D. (2005). Fertility, food and fever: Population, economy and environment in north and Central Sulawesi, 1600–1930. Leiden: KITLV Press.Google Scholar
  7. Ishak, O. S. (2003). Epilog’in Lasahido. In Tahmidy et al. (Eds.), Suara dari Poso: Kerusuhan, konflik dan resolusi .(voices from Poso: Communal conflicts and resolution. Jakarta: Yappika.Google Scholar
  8. Lay, C. (2003). Otonomi daerah dan keindonesiaan (Regional Autonomy and the Indonesiannes). In A. G. Karim (Ed.), Kompleksitas persoalan otonomi daerah di Indonesia .(The complexity of regional autonomy problems in Indonesia (pp. 3–32). Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar.Google Scholar
  9. Liddle, W. R. (Ed.). (2001). Crafting Indonesian democracy. Jakarta: Pustaka Mizan.Google Scholar
  10. Linz, J. J. (1997). Democracy, multinationalism and federalism. Paper presented at the International Political Science Association Meeting in Seoul, South Korea, August 1997, at a session organised jointly with the Society for Comparative Research.Google Scholar
  11. Mangunwijaya, Y. B. (2000). Menuju Republik Indonesia Serikat (Toward Federal Indonesia). Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.Google Scholar
  12. Murray Li, T. (1999). Marginality, power and production: Analysing upland transformations. In T. M. Li (Ed.), Transforming the Indonesian uplands (p. 1k44). Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  13. Nadjamuddin, L. (2002). Dari animisme ke monoteisme: Kristenisasi di Poso 1892–1942 .(From atheism to monotheism: The christianisation in Poso 1892–1942. Yogyakarta: Yayasan Untuk Indonesia.Google Scholar
  14. Nuansa Pos. (2001, February 7). The district of Poso, Morowali, Banggai Kepulauan, Luwuk, and the proposed new districts of Parigi-Moutong, Tojo-Una-Una (both of which have already been formed) and Pamona. Google Scholar
  15. Ricklefs, M. C. (1983). A history of modern Indonesia. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Rohde, D. (2001). Indonesia unraveling? Foreign Affairs, 80(4), 110–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Roth, D. (2005). Lebenstraum in Luwu: Emergent identity, migration and access to land. Bijdragen, 161(4), 485–516.Google Scholar
  18. Sangaji, A. (2006, September 12). Kekerasan Poso dan ekspansi modal (Violence in Poso and capital expansion). Kompas.Google Scholar
  19. Schiller, A. A. (1955). The formation of federal Indonesia, 1945–1949. The Hague: W Van Hoeve.Google Scholar
  20. Schrauwers, A. (2000). Colonial ‘reformation’ in the highland of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia 1892–1995. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Smith, B. C. (1985). Decentralization: The territorial dimension of the state. London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  22. Tirtosudarmo. (2005a, October 14). The mystification of the unitary state of Indonesia. The Jakarta Post.Google Scholar
  23. Tirtosudarmo. (2005b). Migration-development-security Nexus: In search of new perspectives in the changing East Asia context. In D. F. Anwar (Ed.), Development, migration and security in East Asia: People’s movements and non-traditional security challenges in changing East Asia (pp. 13–51). Jakarta: The Habibie Center.Google Scholar
  24. Tomagola, T. (2003). Prolog. In T. Lasahido et al. (Eds.), Suara dari Poso: Kerusuhan, konflik dan resolusi .(Voices from Poso: Communal conflicts and resolution. Jakarta: Yappika.Google Scholar
  25. van Klinken, G. (2005). New actors, new identities: Post-Suharto ethnic violence in Indonesia. In D. F. Anwar et al. (Eds.), Violent internal conflicts in Asia Pacific: Histories. Political economic and policies (pp. 79–100). Jakarta: Penerbit Yayasan Obor Indonesia.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riwanto Tirtosudarmo
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Society and CultureIndonesian Institute of SciencesJakartaIndonesia

Personalised recommendations