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Open Access Campaigning for a new district in West Sumba

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Campaigning for a new district in West Sumba

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the campaigns for two of the three new districts proposed in West Sumba, namely Central Sumba and Southwest Sumba. Alongside these empirical parts it presents a framework to understand the opportunities that decentralization offers. This starts by stressing that Sumba is a resource poor island and that the state bureaucracy is the most important economic sector, receiving over 90% of its budget from Jakarta. Creating a new district needs actors who engage in political struggle to reach this goal. The chapter provides an overview of the various ways in which Sumba has been divided administratively in the past, since the currently proposed division uses arguments of historical precedent. It answers the question: who the local rulers are, and concludes that they are still usually members of the Sumbanese aristocracy, who are well educated and have a successful professional career as well.

Keywords: Jakarta; state bureaucracy; Sumbanese aristocracy; West Sumba



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