The Digital Turn in Geopolitics: Gojek’s Strategy of Digital Space and Its Geopolitical Implications

*Ajie Mahar Muhammad  -  Department of International Relations and International Organisation, Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen, Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26 9712 EK Groningen, PO box 716, Netherlands, Netherlands
Published: 20 Jun 2020.
Open Access
Citation Format:
Abstract

Digital transformation has revolutionized all aspects of life due to its connectivity cap bility. However, the discipline of contemporary Geopolitics has not discussed it in-depth, and is still pinned towards the modern geopolitics discourse focusing merely on regional geopolitical contestations. This article aims to enrich the intellectual discourse on postmodern geopolitics embracing the digital turn in geopolitics. Focusing on non-state actors, this study scrutinizes Gojek, an Indonesian decacorn startup company, by asking how Gojek’s strategization of their digital spaces results in geopolitical implications. Epistemologically, this article utilizes Foucaultian governmentality and the concept of power-knowledge to understand geopolitical power of Gojek and explain how they construct their information power. This study finds that Gojek constructs their power through building digital spaces which connects the customers with Gojek’s partners. The empire of connectivity which Gojek has established does not merely give them power in the digital realm but also in real politics. There exist some geopolitical implications because of Gojek’s strategizing of digital space such as (i) the emergent information power of digital connectivity; (ii) the use of information-based startup as means of Indonesia’s diplomacy; (iii) the emergent power of the person who designs and leads the construction of digital spaces. Further research with a different sample is required to enrich the discourse on digital turn in geopolitics since this research only scrutinizes a case in one of the developing countries.

 

Keywords: Postmodern Geopolitics; Digital Space; Governmentality; Information Power; Gojek

Article Metrics:

  1. Asmara, Chandra Gian. 2019. “Alasan di Balik Jokowi Pilih Nadiem Makarim Jadi Mendikbud.” CNBC Indonesia [online]. Retrieved from https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/tech/20191024180657-37-109926/alasan-di-balik-jokowi-pilih-nadiem-makarim-jadi-mendikbud [Accessed November 21, 2019]
  2. Das, Kaushik, Michael Gryseels, Priyanka Sudhir, and Khoon Tee Tan. 2016. Unlocking Indonesia’s Digital Opportunity. Jakarta: McKinsey Indonesia Office. Report
  3. Evangelidis, Basil. 2018. Space and Time as Relations: The Theoretical Approach of Leibniz. Philosphies, 3(9): 1–15 (doi: 10.3390/philosophies3020009),[Online]
  4. Farras, Bernhart. 2019. “10 Tahun Beroperasi, Akhirnya Gojek Jadi ‘Decacorn SuperApp.’” CNBC Indonesia [online]. Retrieved from https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/tech/20190405091708-37-64792/10-tahun-beroperasi-akhirnya-gojek-jadi-decacorn-superapp [Accessed November 10, 2019]
  5. Fitzgerald, Michael, Nina Kruschwitz, Didier Bonnet, and Michael Welch. 2013. “EMBRACING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY : A New Strategic Imperative.” MITSloan Management Review [online]. Retrieved from https://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/embracing-digital-technology/ [Accessed November 30, 2019]
  6. Foucault, Michel. 1980. Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977. ed. Collin Gordon. New York: Pantheon Books
  7. Foucault, Michel. 1991. The Foucault Effect Studies in Governmentality: With Two Lectures by and with Michel Foucault. eds. Graham Burchell, Collin Gordon, and Peter Miller. United States of America: The University of Chicago Press
  8. Foucault, Michel. 2008. The Birth of Biopolitics: LECTURES AT THE COLLÈGE DE FRANCE, 1978–79. ed. Michel Senellart. New York: Palgrave Macmillan
  9. Gabriel, Joy. 2018. “Mengintip Ekosistem Big Data di Gojek.” Repository of Sriwijaya University [online]. Retrieved from http://edocs.ilkom.unsri.ac.id/1691/ [Accessed December 9, 2019]
  10. GOJEK’s Impact on the Indonesian Economy in 2018. 2019. Jakarta: Demographic Institute of Economics and Business of Universitas Indonesia
  11. Gordon, Collin. 1991. “Governmental Rationality: An Introduction.” In The Foucault Effect Studies in Governmentality: With Two Lectures by and with Michel Foucault, United States of America: The University of Chicago Press
  12. Johnston, Stephen. 2018. “Largest Companies 2008 vs. 2018, a Lot Has Changed.” Milford Asset [online]. Retrieved from https://milfordasset.com/insights/largest-companies-2008-vs-2018-lot-changed [Accessed November 21, 2019]
  13. Leibniz, Gottfried, and Samuel Clarke. 2007. “Exchange of Papers between Leibniz and Clarke.”
  14. Life at Gojek. 2019. GOJEK. A Super App. YouTube [online]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn4MGnTkF8c [Accessed November 21, 2019]
  15. Lilja, Mona, and Stellan Vinthagen. 2014. “Sovereign Power, Disciplinary Power and Biopower: Resisting What Power with What Resistance?” Journal of Political Power 7(1): 107–26. (doi: 10.1080/2158379X.2014.889403),[Online]
  16. Lobo-Guerrero, Luis. 2012. “Connectivity as the Strategization of Space – The Case of the Port of Hamburg.” Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory 13(3): 310–21. (doi: 10.1080/1600910X.2012.697860),[Online]
  17. McClory, Jonathan. 2018. The Soft Power 30: A Global Ranking of Soft Power 2018. USC Center on Public Diplomacy. Report [online]. Retrieved from https://softpower30.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/The-Soft-Power-30-Report-2018.pdf [Accessed December 10, 2019]
  18. MFA. 2019. “MFA Strengthens Indonesia’s Digital Economic Ecosystem Through ‘KEMLU FOR STARTUP.’” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia [online]. Retrieved from https://kemlu.go.id/portal/en/read/814/berita/mfa-strengthens-indonesias-digital-economic-ecosystem-through-kemlu-for-startup [Accessed December 11, 2019]
  19. Miranda, Javier et al. 2015. “From the Internet of Things to the Internet of People.” IEEE Internet Computing 19(2): 40–47. (doi: 10.1109/MIC.2015.24),[Online]
  20. NTIA, and ESA. 2002. A NATION ONLINE: How Americans Are Expanding Their Use of the Internet. US Department of Commerce. Report
  21. Nurlinah, Haryanto, and Sunardi. 2019. "Disparity between E-Government and Human Resources in the Village", Jurnal Ilmu Sosial. 18(1): 17-34. (doi: 10.14710/jis.18.1.2019.17-34),[Online]
  22. Ó Tuathail, Gearóid. 1998. “Postmodern Geopolitics.” In Rethinking Geopolitics, London ; New York: Routledge, 16–38
  23. Ó Tuathail, Gearóid, and Simon Dalby, eds. 1998. Rethinking Geopolitics. London ; New York: Routledge
  24. Philp, Mark. 1983. “Foucault on Power: A Problem in Radical Translation?” Political Theory 11(1): 29–52. (doi: 10.1177%2F0090591783011001003),[Online]
  25. Prasetya, Dwi. 2017. “Demo ke DPRD Banten, tukang ojek pangkalan minta ojek online dilarang.” Merdeka [online]. Retrieved from https://www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/demo-ke-dprd-banten-tukang-ojek-pangkalan-minta-ojek-online-dilarang.html [Accessed November 9, 2019]
  26. Reis, João, Marlene Amorim, Nuno Melão, and Patrícia Matos. 2018. “Digital Transformation: A Literature Review and Guidelines for Future Research.” In Trends and Advances in Information Systems and Technologies, eds. Álvaro Rocha, Hojjat Adeli, Luís Paulo Reis, and Sandra Costanzo. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 411–21. [Online] Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/10.1007/978-3-319-77703-0_41 [Accessed December 12, 2019]
  27. Robert, Keohane, and Joseph S. Nye, Jr. 1998. “Power and Interdependence in the Information Age.” Foreign Affairs 77(5). (doi: 10.2307/20049052),[Online]
  28. Rosenbach, Eric, and Katherine Mansted. 2019. The Geopolitics of Information. Cambridge (MA): Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
  29. Smith, Trevor. 2017. Politicizing Digital Space: Theory, the Internet, and Renewing Democracy. London: University of Westminster Press
  30. Syahputera, Ridzki. 2019. “How Mobile Payment Giants in Indonesia Can Quit the Subsidy Rat Race.” TechinAsia [online]. Retrieved from https://www.techinasia.com/mobile-payment-giants-quit-subsidy-rat-race [Accessed December 10, 2019]
  31. The Economist. 2017. “The World’s Most Valuable Resource Is No Longer Oil, but Data.” The Economist [online]. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/leaders/2017/05/06/the-worlds-most-valuable-resource-is-no-longer-oil-but-data [Accessed November 8, 2019]
  32. Wicaksono, Pribadi. 2019. “UGM Lecturer Dissects Why Jokowi Chose Nadiem Makarim.” Tempo
  33. Widjaja, Crystal. 2017. Crystal Widjaja - Pemanfaatan Big Data Di Dalam Bisnis GO-JEK | BukaTalks. YouTube [online]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3grep1OVyeg [Accessed November 8, 2019]
  34. Xavier, Jonathan. 2017. “How Startup Culture Can Thrive in Developing Worlds.” Stanford Business. [online]. Retrieved from https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/how-startup-culture-can-thrive-developing-worlds [Accessed November 8, 2019]
  35. Yuniar, Resty. 2017. “How Indonesian unicorn Go-Jek went from 20 bikes to US$2.5 billion and an e-money revolution.” South China Morning Post [online]. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/business/article/2116287/how-indonesian-unicorn-go-jek-went-20-bikes-us25-billion-and-e [Accessed December 10, 2019]
  36. Zuhra, Wan Ulfa Nur. 2017. “Bagaimana Data Pengguna Memberi Untung Bagi Go-Jek.” Tirto [online]. Retrieved from https://tirto.id/bagaimana-data-pengguna-memberi-untung-bagi-go-jek-cukG [Accessed December 8, 2019]

Last update: 2021-03-03 09:32:41

No citation recorded.

Last update: 2021-03-03 09:32:42

No citation recorded.