Political Economy of Coal Mining Policy: A Case Study in Rent Seeking of Surveyor’s Data Manipulation in East Kalimantan (2009-2014)

Bambang Arwanto


Both rent seeking and mining policy are two interesting discourses which have enriched the Indonesian policy studies within last two decades. One of prominent problems in this sector is formulation policy process of mining permit (IUP). The concern of mining sector is because the huge economic incentive behind mining business including coal mining. Since the economic incentive is extremely high, the rent seeking is getting higher and more competitive. The competition on rent seeking contest is developed in different policy formulation stages through the elites of business people and bureaucrats.

The consequences are the objectivity on issuing the coal mining policy, including extra regulation about surveyors.  The policy formulation in this very case produces the dynamic and complex rent seeking activity among the main players. This study is aimed to reveal the case of rent seeking using surveyors on coal mining policy. Using qualitative method and non positivist approach, this case of study was one of five studies that tried to understand the social relationship among the policy actors during mining policy formulation.

Findings in the study were: (i) the role of surveyors as “third person” as mediator who played prominent roles in delivering the interest and determined the data through surveyor’s report, (ii) bargaining power of the businessman to get access in penetrating the bureaucracy through bribing and lobbying, and (iii) the role of bureaucrat in manipulating regulation to accommodate their interest through extra regulation making.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v8i4.13819

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