Disruptive & productive frictions: The messiness of globalizing the Dutch Delta Approach

Authors: Emma Colven*, University of Oklahoma
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: urban policy mobilities, friction, urban planning, immobilities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Washington 1, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper examines processes of articulation between Dutch consultants and Indonesian bureaucrats in the planning of the Great Garuda Sea Wall (GGSW), a major flood mitigation project in Jakarta that thus far constitutes neither a total success nor a failure. While policy mobilities scholarship has contributed to theoretical understandings of movement and flows, it has been critiqued for following presence at the expense of absence, gaps, disruptions and disconnections. I argue that by engaging with existing scholarship on expertise in other disciplines, policy mobilities scholars can develop more robust theoretical understandings of policy (im)mobilities. To this end, I draw on the work of Anna Tsing to examine how Dutch expertise experiences friction as consultants seek to globalize the Dutch Delta Approach and realize the GGSW in Jakarta. By interrogating both the disruptive and productive elements of this friction, I illustrate how Dutch expertise remains in motion, albeit moving in unexpected or unanticipated directions.

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