This paper is concerned with the question: why has the pervasive illegality in natural resource sectors persisted for so long in the face of so many campaigns, donor initiatives and legal changes aimed at its eradication? While these interventions continue to meet with limited success, the illegality narrative continues to pose the problem in the same terms. Accordingly, here I will consider a number of uncomfortable questions: what purpose does the policy narrative of illegality serve? Does it perhaps support particular political projects? What role does it play in justifying particular interventions? How does it help envision a rational-legal, bureaucratic state even when any study of illegality in this sector points to its very absence? If it does this, does it not conceal as much as it reveals? How might we reframe the legality/ illegality opposition in order to more usefully understand the logic of illegality?
|Title of host publication
|The State and Illegality in Indonesia
|Edward Aspinall and Gerry van Klinken
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2011