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Adat and Globalization: Living Apart Together

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Moeliono, Moira
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Globalisation, the Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Conf. Date: June 17-21, 2002
Date: 2002
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/389
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
customary law
social networks
self-governance
land tenure and use
Abstract: "Common property management is almost always linked to customary (adat) institutions. Adat, however, is more than institutions regulating tenure of natural resources, but comprises a social system structuring all aspects of life. However, in the past drive for modernization, customary or traditional rules, regulations and the related lifestyle were regarded as back-wards, inefficient and an obstacle for development. "The 1990s saw the growth on national adat movements demanding self-governance and self-determination. NGOs often act as their mouthpiece and over time demands have increased, and in some cases even sovereignty of adat is demanded. But what does sovereignty of adat mean to the adat communities? Do adat communities themselves want to return to adat? Is there still an adat to return to? Is adat able to take on self-governance and rational management of common property? In additon, can adat law exist besides national or even international law, where all have to be equal and equally treated? "This paper is an attempt to provide some answers. A brief overview on the possible origin of adat is presented, followed by a description of two ways in which adat continues to play a role in adat communities. Although I talk about adat in general my focus will be on that part of adat concerned with tenure and rights over land as this lies at the heart of adat movements today. The last part of this paper is a discussion on the possible implications to the potential role of adat in a decentralized Indonesia. Three main assumptions form the core of the discussion: adat is more than land tenure; adat exists together and intersects with other systems; and adat is used today both at the local and the national level as an element in the struggle for political and economic power."

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