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Preventing Dispute over Haze Through Regional and Local Governance

  • Helena VarkkeyEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Fires and haze, originating mostly from Indonesia, have caused widespread air pollution across Southeast Asia, especially in Singapore and Malaysia. The region has been suffering from this transboundary pollution in varying intensities for more than three decades, and this has given rise to a conflicting situation between the haze-exporting state of Indonesia and the states that import haze. However, this has never grown into a full-blown interstate legal or political dispute situation. The reason why this interstate regional conflict has never escalated to a dispute is worth investigating. This chapter first contextualizes the fires and haze in Indonesia in the context of the globalization of the agribusiness sector, particularly palm oil. It then goes on to define the incompatibilities that exist between the different actors at the national and international level with regard to transboundary haze. This is followed by an investigation into how ideas of globalization and the ASEAN organization have been useful in managing these incompatibilities. The chapter then discusses how poor governance has nevertheless limited effective incompatibility management and has led to a potential legal dispute between Indonesia and Singapore. It concludes by highlighting ways in which good governance at both the national and regional level can play an important role in preventing this potential dispute from further escalation. A common theme throughout this chapter is the prevalence of patron-client relationships within the countries being discussed, which are useful in explaining national interests, incompatibilities and poor governance in the context of the haze.

Keywords

Fires Haze Southeast Asia Conflict Dispute prevention Incompatibility management Globalization Good governance 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universiti MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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