Monash University

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Foreign direct investment and locality: a case study of French multinational in Aceh, Indonesia.

posted on 2017-02-21, 04:37 authored by Yahya, Azhari
This thesis is about localised responses to a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) project located in the Aceh Besar District of Indonesia. It is intended as an inquiry into how locality is created by the encroachment of the FDI project and how locality motivates responses and strategies by local people. The FDI project in question is the Indonesian operation of a French cement multinational, Lafarge Cement Indonesia (hereafter called LCI). This company started to produce cement for domestic and export use in the 1980s, attracted to the region by the stocks of limestone found there. Since that time, it cannot be denied that the project has delivered on many of the promises of benefit that proponents of FDI associate with such projects. The project has endured, along with local subjects, a natural disaster of unprecedented proportions in 2004 when a tsunami struck the region, causing around 300,000 deaths in all of Aceh and untold destruction. But at the same time, the project has brought disruptions at the local level that are concealed in the statistics frequently marshalled to justify the benefit of FDI projects at national level. These statistics obscure local conditions. Through an intensive ethnographic study of the communities in the vicinity of the project, and through deliberations based on interpretations of locality in the anthropological and development literature (especially the World Bank concept of ‘Place Premium’), I examine the role of locality in these disruptions and responses to them by local actors. I argue that global civil society (represented by a local NGO, the United Community Committee), and the Lafarge Corporate Social Responsibility program, have provided locals with ‘weapons’ through which their locality can be mobilised to achieve benefits from the FDI project.


Principal supervisor

Julian Millie

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School of Social Sciences (Monash Australia)


Doctor of Philosophy

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Faculty of Arts

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