Bosman Batubara

PhD fellow


Managing Floods in Jakarta: Urbanizing People, Water, and City

Research Summary

"UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT": Politicizing flood events and urbanizing infrastructural interventions in (post-) New Order Jakarta, Indonesia

There are two basic problems in the way in which floods in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, are understood. The first one is that researchers do not explicitly relate floods to wider (post-)  New Order state-led development processes, a  distinct depoliticization in that it conceals how  the  occurrence  of  floods  is  partly  the  result  of,  and  in  turn  helps  create  a  particular trajectory  of  capitalist  growth.  The second problem is that ongoing interventions in managing floods risk reproducing the unevenness both within and outside the city of Jakarta. They reproduce the unevenness through processes of flowing/retaining/taming water, transforming land and moving people.  Therefore,  I  propose to interrogate  and  open  up  for  debate  the  relation  between  flood events  and  interventions  and  uneven  urban  development – the  promotion  of  particular  capitalist  vision  in  Jakarta  under  the  New  Order/post-New  Order  (1965-now)  regime,  Indonesia. My central research question is: How are flood  events  and  interventions  related  to  uneven  urban  development  of  (post-)  New  Order Jakarta (1965-now)?

Supervisory committee:

Promotor: Margreet Zwarteveen
Co-supervisor: Michelle Kooy
Committee member: dr. ir. Y.P.B. (Yves) van Leynseele  




  • Batubara, B., Kooy, M., Zwarteveen, M. (2018). Uneven Urbanisation: Connecting Flows of Water to Flows of Labour and Capital Through Jakarta's Flood Infrastructure. Antipode.
  • Batubara, B. (2017) Ekologi Politis Air: Akses, ekslusi, dan resistensi (Water Political Ecology: Access, exclusion, and resistance. Wanaca, 35: 3-24. 
  • Zwarteveen, M.Z., J. Kemerink-Seyoum, M. Kooy, et al. 2017. Engaging with the politics of water governance. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water (September 2017). DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1245
  • Batubara, B. (2015). Solidaritat mit kunstlerischen Mitteln. Stiftung Asienhaus. 2. p. 38-41.
  • Batubara, B., Batelaan, O. and Quevauviller, P. (2014). Science-policy interfacing on the issue of groundwater ecosystem and groundwater-dependent ecosystems in Europe: Implications for research and policy. WIREs Water 2014. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1041 
  • Batubara, B. (2014). Crimes against humanity by corporation. Indonesian National Commission for Human Right Journal. 9. p. 169-194
  • Batubara, B. (2014). Indonesiens Regierung unterstutzt weiterhin Rohstoffkonzerne. Stiftung Asienhaus. 4. p. 1-4
  • Batubara, B. (2013). Umweltzerstorung oder schwere menschenrechts verletzungen der fall der Lapindo schlammkatastrophe. Asienhaus. 2.p.34-7. Translated from Bahasa Indonesia into Deutsch by Anett Keller. 
  • Batubara, B. (2011). When the law betrays, literature must speak. Inside Indonesia. (105) Jul-Sep 2011
  • Batubara, B. (2010). Resistance through memory. Inside Indonesia. (101) Jul-Sep 2010



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