Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3780-3801; doi:10.3390/su6063780
Article

Riding the Hype: The Role of State-Owned Enterprise Elite Actors in the Promotion of Jatropha in Indonesia

Received: 16 December 2013; in revised form: 17 April 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 10 June 2014
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Abstract: Within a few years following its ambitious promotion in 2006, the development of jatropha in Indonesia came to a halt. Claimed as a potential solution to problems in energy and poverty, the introduction of jatropha in Indonesia’s energy policy had been triggered by the high oil prices in 2005. While studies by biofuel scholars have generally focused on what brought the end of the “miracle crop” hype by underlining various technical problems and the absence of market structure as the cause of its failure, few have examined jatropha as part of a policy-making trajectory, which began with, and was influenced by, the development narratives disseminated by individual actors. This article sheds light on the role of elite actors in the making of biofuel energy policy in Indonesia. Taking the case of the promotion of jatropha in 2005–2007, the article illustrates the role of the director of Indonesia’s leading sugar state-owned enterprise (SOE), Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI), whose decision in promoting jatropha became influential in forwarding its narratives into the national energy and development policy in 2006. In order to discover why a specific elite actor decided to promote jatropha, the article relies on data, including the SOE’s documents and interviews with key actor(s). The analysis is conducted using an actor-oriented approach, which underlines the discrepancy between the ideals and the operational practice of developmental goals.
Keywords: jatropha; state-owned enterprise; biofuel policy; elites; actor; actor-oriented approach; actor narrative
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Simandjuntak, D. Riding the Hype: The Role of State-Owned Enterprise Elite Actors in the Promotion of Jatropha in Indonesia. Sustainability 2014, 6, 3780-3801.

AMA Style

Simandjuntak D. Riding the Hype: The Role of State-Owned Enterprise Elite Actors in the Promotion of Jatropha in Indonesia. Sustainability. 2014; 6(6):3780-3801.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Simandjuntak, Deasy. 2014. "Riding the Hype: The Role of State-Owned Enterprise Elite Actors in the Promotion of Jatropha in Indonesia." Sustainability 6, no. 6: 3780-3801.


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