Save Palm Oil, Save the Nation: Palm Oil Companies and the Shaping of Indonesia’s National Interest

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11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article argues that rather than being an automatic consequence of the rising importance of palm oil in Indonesia’s economy, the inclusion of palm oil in Indonesia’s set of national interest priorities in its international relations was a result of an intentional campaign run by palm oil companies. Taking the subjectivist assumption on national interest as the starting point and drawing on the narrative policy analysis literature, this study investigates the process of inclusion by unpacking the discursive framework that enables such a process to be successful. It finds that palm oil companies employed “objectification” to frame the growth of the palm oil industry as a shared interest of the public and “delegitimization” to frame opposing voices as the manifestations of foreign interests. Such discursive frameworks provided unambiguous and straightforward foreign policy direction, but at the same time prevented a more comprehensive understanding of the complex issue of palm oil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-26
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Politics and Policy
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Indonesia
  • discursive mechanism
  • national interest
  • palm oil
  • subjectivist

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