Southeast Asian Studies section
Project FuturEN

Project FuturEN

Governance, identities and future along categories of difference in the coal mining sector in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

FuturEN analyses constellations of power, constitutions of identity and conceptions about the future of coal mining in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, along the nexus of ethnicity, gender and class. The extraction of natural resources, and particularly of coal, forms a crucial source of export income for Indonesia.

Although coal mining is prevalent on the entire island of Kalimantan, the focus of coal mining and socio-ecological conflicts will be on Central Kalimantan, where there are vast coal fields that are yet to be exploited in the course of the IndoMet project. The area set aside for coal mining lies partly in a protected woodland area (Heart of Borneo), which exhibits high levels of biodiversity and is populated by indigenous (semi-)nomadic groups. The diverging interests and visions for the future of the representatives of the government and the company as well as indigenous Dayak groups and civil society organisations are primarily concerned with land rights and the distribution of returns from the exploitation of resources. The dimensions of differentiation and membership of ethnicity, gender and class play a significant role in the contested exploitation of resources. In each of the three sub-projects, the issues of governance, identity and visions, will be respectively analysed within the IndoMet project with a focus on ethnicity, gender and class.

Empirical qualitative methods, including participative observation, interviews, network analysis, and scenario workshops will generate transformative knowledge. The transdisciplinary approach integrates the valuable expertise of practitioners. FuturEN contributes to the development of theories and solution-oriented methods within South-East Asian studies, gender studies, political ecology, intersectional and sustainability sciences.

The project, which is aligned with the global ‘Future Earth' research programme, aims at elaborating sustainable and solution-oriented findings with regard to the massive environmental transformations currently under way in Indonesia, which are highly relevant on a societal and political level.

The research project includes the following subsections:

  • Governance: analysis of the (re-)production of power balances where ethnicity, gender and class are intertwined within coal mining governance.
  • Identities: elaboration of the interrelationship of environmental changes and the generation of ethnicity-, gender- and class-specific identities.
  • Future: identification of visions for the future of sustainable development and their implementation, as well as the bridging of divergences.

Principal Investigator(s) at the University Kristina Großmann (Lehrstuhl für Vergleichende Entwicklungs- und Kulturforschung (Schwerpunkt Südostasien))
Project period 01.09.17 - 31.08.20
Source of funding
BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
Project number 01UL1708X
Areas Humanities and Social Sciences, Humanities, Agricultural Economics and Sociology

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