Document Actions

You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Prof. Dr. Pujo Semedi Hargo …

Prof. Dr. Pujo Semedi Hargo Yuwono

© Dave Lumenta
Gadjah Mada University
External Senior Fellow (Marie S. Curie FCFP)
Oktober 2020 - August 2021

Room 02 021
Phone +49 (0)761-203 97327
Fax +49 (0) 761-203 97451


Prof. Pujo Yuwono teaches at the Dept. of Anthropology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. By deploying long term historical ethnographic research (1800s -2010s) Prof. Pujo Yuwono focuses his effort to understand the social dynamics in Indonesian sea fishery, plantations and smallholder communities as they were exposed to external powerful political-economic forces. Currently he expands his research field to work among small-holders in Europe.

Selected Publications

  • 2014 “Why did Kalimantan’s farmers like jatropha?” in JARAK, the short history of Jatropha projects in Indonesia. Leiden: IIAS.
  • 2014 “Why support oil palm but not jatropha?” in JARAK, the short history of Jatropha projects in Indonesia. Leiden: IIAS.
  • 2014 “Oil Palm versus Rubber: GIS Empirical Check for Land Grabbing in West Kalimantan” with Aji Prasetya, article in Journal of Asian Network for GIS-based Historical Studies Vol.2 (Dec. 2014) 43-50
  • 2016 “Pramuka: Scouting Days of Fun” in Kathryn Robinson (ed.) Youth Identities and Social Transformations in Modern Indonesia. Leiden: Brill.
  • 2018 “The Development and Demise of Child Labour in a Javanese Tea Plantation, 1900–2010” with Gerben Nooteboom, article in Jurnal Humaniora. Vol. 30.No 3. 2018.
  • 2018 “Vanishing Frontiers. A Javanese Plantation Emplacement, 1870s–2000s” article in Jurnal Humaniora. Vol. 30.No 1. 2018.

FRIAS Research Project

Tragedy of the private. A historical ethnographic account of an Indonesian plantation, 1870s-2000s.

The proposed project is to complete a monograph that analyses the 125-year history of internal theft in an Indonesian plantation. Based on long-term ethnographic and archival research, it examines the conditions under which a private property regime leads to resource degradation, rather than providing a solution to the “tragedy of the commons”. The focus is on conditions internal to the plantation social system, specifically, on the interplay of the interests of capital and labor in a hierarchical social setting, a pyramid with owners on top, coolies in the bottom and several tiers of workers in between. Owners, using “anti-politics” and denying structural inequalities, dismissed illicit acts of their subordinates as merely individual breaches of rule. Workers, however, emphasized the moral obligation of superiors to subordinates. Since wealth was concentrated on top, those in intermediate positions between owners and coolies were unable to fulfil the moral obligations of those below, except through theft. In developing its argument on the “tragedy of the private”, the book brings recent literature on the commons together with research on plantations in Southeast Asia that sets off from different theoretical angles.