Re-territorialization and the governance of ocean frontiers in Indonesia

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This article examines the development of Indonesia’s ocean policy, particularly during the presidency of Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo (2014–present). Re-territorialization is the primary driver of Indonesia’s ocean policy under Widodo, enabling the state to create and commodify property regimes within Indonesian-controlled oceans. As a large archipelagic nation with multiple neighbours, Indonesia’s ocean frontiers face numerous challenges, including illegal fishing, cross-ocean trade and transport, and geopolitical tensions, especially in the South China Sea. As a result, Indonesia has been mobilizing state resources to establish and solidify control in three aspects of its ocean frontiers: jurisdictional frontiers, political frontiers and commodification frontiers. In his first term (2014–19), President Widodo’s ocean policy was driven by the urge to control jurisdictional and political frontiers, while his current second term agenda emphasizes capturing commodification frontiers. These different approaches should not be seen as inconsistent but rather as a continuation of Indonesia’s efforts to strengthen governance of its ocean frontiers.




Raharja, D. P., & Karim, M. F. (2022). Re-territorialization and the governance of ocean frontiers in Indonesia. Territory, Politics, Governance.

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