The Indonesian state has issued many regulations to control palm oil expansion, but they have been weakly enforced, resulting in widespread illegal plantations. During the last decade, Indonesian authorities have used force to reduce illegal plantations. This article analyses the drivers behind these actions and questions to what extent they reflect the rise of eco-authoritarianism. By investigating six cases of disciplinary action in Sumatra, we conclude that the Indonesian state is neither practising eco-authoritarianism nor constituting a green state. The disciplinary action, however, has had limited success in environmental terms due to policy incoherence, violent contestation and the sector’s historical context.
- authoritarian environmentalism
- Law enforcement
- palm oil expansion