Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Corporate Governmentality and the Will to Accumulate; Anthropology of Corporation in the Lapindo Mudflow Disaster
Fathun Karib Satrio

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 522
Date: 2019-07-25 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


This paper proposes the concept of corporate governmentality as a possibility to rethink forms of governance other than the State. Reformulating Foucault (2007, 96), corporate governmentality refers to a set of groups, collectives or institutions that we called corporation and how these corporations conduct power and using methods with its specific relations to men, material things and events. In recent years, anthropologists shifted their interest on power from focusing on state actors to corporate actors and forms of power practices shaping societies and engages in people’s daily life (Benson & Kirsch, 2010a, Partridge et al.2011, Rajak et al.2011, Welker et al.2011). Anthropologists observe the disastrous impact of corporate operations toward the environment (Fortun 2001, Allen 2003, Sawyer 2004, Kirsch 2006, Welker et al. 2011, Benson & Kirsch 2010b). The paper will examine how corporations through corporate governmentality deal with disastrous mudflow and managing affected Sidoarjo population in East Java. I want to propose the Lapindo mudflow disaster as an object of governmentality conducted by Bakrie Corporation. While the State has the reason to exist (raison d’Etat), which is called the governmental reason “to improve the condition of the population, to increase its wealth, its longevity and its health” (Foucault  2007), the case study offers that corporation also has the reason to exist. Its reason and main objectives are to improve its internal members by gaining maximum profit, provide wealth to its shareholders and owners of the mode of production and to secure the continuation of capital accumulation. This is the nature of corporations and their tendency to do everything to secure the continuation of profit and accumulation. This is not the will to improve but to accumulate...corporate governmentality and the will to accumulate!