This review examines the book Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflict Dynamics in Indonesia, an impact study of the widely lauded Kecamatan Development Program (KDP). The authors argue that KDP contributes to greater accountability, transparency, civic engagement—especially by previously marginalized populations—and nonviolent conflict resolution in areas where it is operating well, primarily through indirect feedback mechanisms poorly accounted for in the traditional economic metrics for evaluating such programs. The review suggests that the authors remain wedded to a set of neoliberal assumptions about development and insufficiently historicize the program’s origins and role in Indonesian politics. Continue reading →
This article explores the intersection between debates about the meaning of human rights and self-determination claims and movements in the 1960s and 1970s. It argues that the human rights politics of the period were an ongoing contest in which alternative conceptions of rights, especially the right of self-determination, emerged from political, ideological, and sometimes even military conflict within and between state bureaucracies, international forums, and NGO boardrooms, with a multiplicity of actors seeking to enlarge or constrain them to suit their own purposes.