The Research Center for Politics and Government (PolGov) Department of Government Politics held an Academic Roundtable Discussion (ARD) with the theme “Theory of Access in Practice” on Friday (11/8/2023). ARD is a routine agenda organized by PolGov by presenting lecturers from the Department of Politics and Government, PolGov researchers, and presenters who come from experts. On this occasion, ARD was carried out in a mixed manner followed by general participants. Regarding the theme of access theory, Prof. Jesse Ribot as an expert was also present as a speaker in the discussion hosted by Tadzkia Nur Shafira.

“Access is interpreted as the ability to take advantage of various materials, non-materials, even laws,” said Prof. Jesse to open his presentation. Prof. Jesse argues that access is not a right because access is obtained from ability, class relations and exclusion. The phenomenon of access can be found in the practice of failed access by African migration. Based on his findings, Prof. Jesse concludes that the migration phenomenon of African peoples is not only caused by climate, but also related to their declining access to resources. Therefore, it is not surprising that families who own plants can migrate because they have access to money.

Prof. Jesse emphasized that the root causes of access theory can be viewed historically. The label of legal or illegal access came from several institutions that had the power at that time to determine what and who could gain the access that was used. Even though the theory of access in practice can be different from the label that has been given. Thus, it is important to trace access based on causality. For example, still with the phenomenon of African migration, it is clear how a vulnerability to a food crisis affects the global phenomenon. Hunger due to climate change has been characterized as a food crisis that has caused multi-faceted vulnerabilities since 40 years ago. The failure to access food for African people is not only related to human rights, but also a lack of democratic capacity which continues to undermine their lives.

“A household has the right to obtain different commodities legally,” said Prof. Jesse. However, everyone’s ability to build fixed assets is based on their ability to take advantage of the access they have so that failure of rights and/or failure of access will always haunt them.