chapter  9
Jakarta as a Site of Fragmegrative Tensions
ByJames N. Rosenau, Diane Wildsmith
Pages 18

Just as it is erroneous to posit global urbanism as solely the result of technological homogeneity, so is it a mistake to ascribe the abrupt and violence-ridden halt of growth and progress in Jakarta to the globalizing processes underlying the collapse of the baht in Thailand and the onset of the Asian financial crisis in 1997. Such responses are excessively facile because they neglect the inherent cultural diversity of the postcolonial city and ignore the internal and unique circumstances that set Jakarta apart as a complex urban community. They ignore the conflicting forces that have marked postcolonial Jakarta. They fail to differentiate between those forces that support the integration of Indonesia into the global economy and those that prefer to minimize or even avoid globalization, not to mention the conflicts generated by the forces that are accepting of a truncated Indonesia versus those that aspire to maintaining the coherence of the archipelago. Nor, perhaps most notably, does globalization allow for the tensions among the parties competing for the reins of power subsequent to the collapse of the Suharto regime. But to account for the internal conflicts is not to deny that Jakarta and Indonesia are also subject to a host of economic and other pressures that originate abroad and are sustained by one or another globalizing process.