Indonesia and the Politics of Disaster: Power and Representation in Indonesia’s Mud Volcano, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Indonesia and the Politics of Disaster

Power and Representation in Indonesia’s Mud Volcano, 1st Edition

By Phillip Drake


190 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-07-28
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Named after Lapindo Brantas, a gas exploration company that was drilling at the eruption site, the Lapindo mudflow initially burst in 2006 and continues to flow today, becoming the most expensive disaster in Indonesia’s history.

Using this environmental incident in Indonesia as a case study, this book explores representations of disaster in scientific reports, public discourse, literature, and other cultural forms, observing the impact of these portrayals on the ways people both understand and respond to complicated environmental disasters. The author argues that power is expressed and contested in every representation of a disaster and its stakeholders. This book develops terminologies and perspectives that not only probe the social and ecological conditions that make disaster possible but also foster more effective and equitable strategies for adapting to a world fraught with hazards.

Interdisciplinary in nature, this book makes a significant contribution to the fields of green cultural studies, disaster studies, science and technology studies and studies of political ecology in Southeast Asia.

Table of Contents


1. The Trigger Debate and the Politics of Inquiry: Was it Drilling or an Earthquake that Caused the Mud Volcano?

1a. Contesting the Name: Is it Sidoarjo’s or Lapindo’s Mudflow?

2. The Disaster Management Apparatus: Managing Disaster and Opposition

2a. Recent Trends Shaping Indonesia’s Political Economy of Disaster

3. Knowledge, Power, and Rift: Bending Information Networks

3a. Bakrie Mysteries

4. The Victims: Testimony and the Politics of Environmental Justice

4a. Breaking the Wall

5. Broadening the Field of Contestation: Representing the Mudflow in Folklore, Literature, and Public Performance

5a. Humor and Disaster

6. New Landscapes: Composing and Contesting Mud Island

Epilogue: Fighting for the Future of the Mud Volcano

About the Author

Phillip Drake is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kansas, USA. His teaching and research focuses on environmental literature and rhetoric, science and technology studies, Marxism, animal studies, and environmental politics.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Southeast Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General