"Nine-Tenths of the Law" by Christian Lund

Nine-Tenths of the Law Enduring Dispossession in Indonesia Christian Lund

Yale Agrarian Studies Series
Publication date:
23 Feb 2021
Yale University Press
272 pages: 235 x 156mm
9 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

An exploration of the relationship between possession and legalization across Indonesia, and how people navigate dispossession

The old aphorism “possession is nine-tenths of the law” is particularly relevant in Indonesia, which has seen a string of regime changes and a shifting legal landscape for property claims. Ordinary people struggle to legalize their possessions and claim rights in competition with different branches of government, as well as police, army, and private gangs. This book explores the relationship between possession and legalization across Indonesia, examining the imaginative and improvisational interpretations of law by which Indonesians navigate dispossession.

Christian Lund heads the global development section at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics. He is the author of Law, Power, and Politics in Niger and Local Politics and the Dynamics of Property in Africa.