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:

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

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