9.3. Citizenship and Management of Eastern Coastal City of Sumatra: A Story of Bagansiapiapi

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Last Updated 11 October 2016

Subhi Azhari


The changing of social, economic and political landscape frequently lead to the changing of community perspectives toward their environment. Likewise the fundamental changing of constitutional construction in Indonesian from New Order toward Reformation Order has caused several important transformation in the local context. Democratizations and openness has urged centralistic state management to decentralized state supervision with ideal purposes to provide justice and equality in resources distribution whether between central and local actors or within the local actors itself. At the same time, democratization has given more power to people to control the state and to demand their rights.

Yet, democratization has been accused as the instrument of the marginalizing process by the dominant element in the community against others. Democratization has been considered as the result rather than the tools to achieve justice and prosperity. Democratization seems to be the new cover for old unchanging perspectives. For instance, decentralization as the result of democracy instead has been used by local elite in certain areas to govern them self conflicting democracy notion.

This study will examine the model of post reformation area and citizenship management in Bagansiapiapi, the Rokan Hilir Regency capital at east coast of Sumatra. As the capital of new regency after reformation era, in term of social and political dynamics, Bagansiapiapi could be assumed likely other new regencies in Indonesia. But, this study will proves that Bagansiapiapi represent another pace on local area and citizenship management in multicultural Indonesia.

In many studies on cities in Indonesia, there were tendencies to analyze cities management aspect (space planning, infrastructure, architecture, etc.) separate to citizenship aspect (social, economics, politics, etc.). This study attempt to observe both issues simultaneously. According to previous observation, there was strong interrelation between city management in one side and citizenship management in other side have resulted Bagansiapiapi construction today.

Keywords: citizenship, coastal city, ethnic plurality