Defending the Sultan's Land: Yogyakarta, Aristocratic Power and Control over Land in Post-Autocratic Indonesia

Bayu Kurniadi

Event details

PSC Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 22 May 2018


PSC Reading Room 4.27, Hedley Bull Centre (130), Garran Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Bayu Dardias Kurniadi


Helen McMartin

This pre-submission seminar discusses the revival of aristocratic politics in post-authoritarian Indonesia. It attempts to explore why some aristocrats have staged successful political comebacks in post-Suharto politics, while others have failed to do so. Using the case of the Yogyakarta sultanate as my main case study, I argue that those aristocrats who have been most successful in post-Suharto politics are those who – over time – developed and maintained their capacity to control land as an essential power resource. After investigating in detail how the Yogyakarta sultanate gained and defended its land – and thus its role in politics – I turn to four other examples in which aristocratic houses struggled to sustain control over land, and therefore experienced varying degrees of power erosion. These examples are Ubud, Ternate, Gowa and Palembang. The seminar will conclude with reflections on the role of aristocracy and land as arenas of power in post-authoritarian Indonesia.

About the Speaker
Bayu Dardias Kurniadi is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political and Social Change in the ANU’s Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. He received his BA from Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta (2002) and completed his Master of Public Policy at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy in 2009. In 2010, Bayu became a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government, UGM.

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