6.2. Discourses on Inequality in Jokowi’s Era

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Iqrak Sulhin (Universitas Indonesia)


In 2010, I wrote a book titled Capitalism and the Future of Indonesia Anti-Poverty Policy, an extended version of my thesis in Universitas Gajah Mada. The conclusion of the book is that anti-poverty strategy during the new order era in Indonesia has dominantly framed within the capitalism paradigm that employs market mechanism in order to provide essential public service for society. Means of poverty reduction has always been related to the economic growth discourse, with emphasis on the productivity of high capital class in Indonesia. The development of neoliberalism since 1980s also has strong influences on public policy in Indonesia. Impacts of this situation have createdworsening social inequality within society. Post-Reformation is no different, as anti-poverty discourse has not been acknowledged as the state responsibility despite the fact the Constitution strongly stated the State’s main role within current problem. Nevertheless, in the 2014 elected president, JokoWidodo seemed to bring a new antithesis into anti-poverty policies and closing social inequality gap. ‘Nawacita’ as a political promise emphasizes presence of a working state, prospering independence and the need of mental revolution, developing rural areas by strengthening villages and other territories, as well as making priority in equalization of development especially between cities and villages, eastern and western region of Indonesia. This paper revisits discourses around poverty and social inequality within the context of Indonesia in global capitalism. Particularly, this paper focuses on discourse differences between President JokoWidodo’s and previous governmental administrations. Michel Foucault’s genealogy will be use as a method to study data gathered from unpublished documents, books, previous research publications and mass media articles. The author sought not to determine a conceptual framework to avoid deductive meaning. In contrast to the book published in 2010, this paper attempts to conclude inductively.

Keywords: inequality, poverty, discourses, Jokowi