Jakarta: taking the field seriously

Emma Colven, Sam Nowak, Dimitar Anguelov, Dian Tri Irawaty, Eric Sheppard, Helga Leitner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We respond as the Jakarta Collective to Prathiwi Putri’s constructive critique of Leitner and Sheppard’s research on Jakarta’s kampungs, to make visible the broader cluster of scholarship surrounding their research. Deploying six binaries, postcolonialism versus neoliberalism, non-capitalism versus capitalism, agency versus structure, displacement versus dispossession, and individual versus collective action, Putri suggests that Leitner and Sheppard stress the former while neglecting the latter. By taking the field seriously, we argue that the research of the Collective approaches these dialectically, teasing out their complex interrelations. Changes in Jakarta’s kampungs reflect its hybrid more-than-capitalist political economy, at the intersection of US and Chinese influence. The displacement of kampungs and kampung residents’ practices subsidize capitalism but they also contest its norms. Residents’ agency is significant; some gain but others lose, they act individually but also collectively. Highlighting more-than-capitalist practices opens up possibilities for alternative futures rather than simply documenting capitalist hegemony.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-995
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Mar 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Jakarta: taking the field seriously'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this