Jérôme Tadié is an urban and social geographer, a research fellow at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), within the URMIS research unit in Paris. He completed his PhD from the University of Paris - Sorbonne on informal control of Jakarta (“The Territories of Violence in Jakarta”, published in French and Indonesian) in 2002. His research interests since have been centred around aspects of informal politics, kampong (village) fires, the city at night (in Jakarta and Manila) and ghosts in Jakarta. To provide an international comparison he is also working on informal politics in São Paulo, Brazil.
Accessing the State? NGOs, Civil Society and Access to Power in Everyday Jakarta
Concerned with different types of NGOs in today’s Jakarta, this research project aims to question how people access power at different levels of society. Focusing on NGOs acting as advocactes for the poor, it analyses how, both informal and formal processes are constitutive and emblematic of relationships that are engendered between local government and the State. It is in analysing such interactions, that this project examines how links between the State and the people are constantly being created and how theformalState functions on a day to day basis, in more or lessinformal ways. Starting from a ‘State-centric’ framework is relevant to understanding how power is negotiated within a local context. Different means of action are indeed used in order to obtain influence in everyday policies and politics, and to achieve certain objectives. These reflect how access to power is, in reality, constantly being negotiated. It is in these types of negotiations and strategies that the nature both of the State and, also, of power in Indonesia is revealed. This goes beyond the official image that a superficial formal and institutional description of power relations would suggest, on the contrary stressing the role of interpersonal relationships in such processes.