Common Property as a Relational Theory: Marine Tenure in Indonesia


A common property system related to marine resources commonly found in Eastern Indonesia is marine tenure practice (hak ulayat laut). Studies on hak ulayat laut highlight the function of the practice as a traditional management system of common pool resources. This talk, however, will discuss hak ulayat laut as consisting of multispecies assemblages that relate to different ontologies from political to ecological ones. Drawing on the analysis of the marine tenure practice in Indonesia, I would suggest that common property theory should be conceived as a relational theory. 

Fadjar Ibnu Thufail is the Head of the Research Center for Area Studies, the National Research and Innovation Agency (PRW-BRIN). He received his M.A. from Rutgers University in 1998 and Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2007 with his dissertation titled “Figures of the State: The 1998 May Riots in Indonesia.” He was a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale, Göttingen University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and the University of Tokyo. His current research interests include digital visualization of cultural heritage, animation and game productions, maritime networks, and science, technology and society studies (STS), in particular focusing on human-nonhuman relations. He has been conducting a research project with Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto) on digitizing Borobudur temple. He established and leads research program on Japan at the PRW-BRIN and has been working with the Japan Foundation to develop Japanese Studies in Indonesia.