Spatial Conflict and Territorial Governance in Tourism Development: A Case Study of Mandalika and Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

Mr Ucu Martanto1

1Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia

If development is defined as a process of (re)negotiation of power and (re)production of space, then conflict is the sine qua non of development project. In the case of tourism development, the nexus has been reflected in Mandalika and Labuan Bajo though each has its own characteristic specifically on planning processes. Adopted from decentralization concept and praxis in political and government studies, a decentralized planning is an ideal model of territorial governance that have been promoted by academia and practitioners. It is the best form for bringing good development outcomes in a sense a government are able to formulate plans according to the needs and preferences of the people and implement them in such a way that the people and their constituency benefit from such need-based and decentralised plan. By the logic of decentralized governance, (spatial) conflict are more manageable given that affected people’s participation can be facilitated in planning processes. However, this research shows the contradictions of decentralisation-conflict relation. The intensity of spatial conflicts was gradually declined in a centralistic planning as it shown in Mandalika case. On the contrary, a more decentralised planning in Labuan Bajo shows a swelling in both quality and quantity of spatial conflicts.


Ucu Martanto is a lecturer at Department Political Science, Faculty of Social and Political Science Airlangga Unversity, Indonesia. He completed Master Degree in Environmental Security and Peace Studies at United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. His research and teaching interest are political economy, urban politics, and human security issues.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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