The central role of the police in networked security in Indonesia: a case study of Yogyakarta




Jansen, David

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This dissertation is premised upon a simple assumption: it is not possible to fully grasp how the security sector works until we understand interagency relations. The 'interagency' is the area where different security organisations interact in the pursuit of maintaining security. This topic throws up a number of questions, such as how do security groups interrelate and why do they behave the way they do? In the literature on Indonesia many sources take the view that relations between security actors, especially the police and the Indonesian military, are unclear and contested. This thesis finds the opposite. By pursuing a local level case study of the relationships between security organisations in Yogyakarta, this thesis argues that most security relationships in this case study are premised on generally well defined boundaries of jurisdiction. Most importantly, the dominant form of behaviour is not hostility or competition but rather collaboration. This dissertation employs policing theory on networked security as the most appropriate paradigm to model security relations within the case study site. Policing is a dynamic task, involving not only the uniformed state police but a diverse range of government and non-government actors. This framework aptly fits the situation in Indonesia where we find various central and regional government agencies and commercial and civil society organisations deploying within the sector. Examples include the national police, territorial units of the Indonesian army, the civil service police of regional government, non-police civil service investigators, private security companies, neighbourhood watch groups, Islamic vigilantes, and political party militias among others. The Indonesian police, however, are at the centre of this security network, they lead, support and lend their authority to other actors. The superiority of the Indonesian police becomes the core reason why collaboration takes place within the network. Other security organisations feel they need to access the formal authority and special powers of the police. This system has created something of a security leviathan. My research from Yogyakarta suggests the Indonesian police have emerged as the primary agent within the local security sphere.






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