This article demonstrates how an integral element of the fabric
of governance on the eastern Indonesian island of Lombok, and many
other parts of the Indonesian archipelago, are non-state local security
arrangements, such as night watches and militias. These groups play a
significant role in the local infrastructure of security and law enforcement.
Consequently, this article challenges a common assumption by
legal scholars, and many other observers of Indonesia, that state-based
institutions such as the police are the exclusive, and only legitimate, mode
of law enforcement in Indonesia. Through an ethnographic engagement
with the idea of law enforcement on Lombok, I seek to broaden these
assumptions about legitimate modes of statecraft. These non-state entities
fill a void in the Indonesian law enforcement architecture that the state
is unable or unwilling to fulfil (or potentially finds it more practical to
delegate to local non-state institutions).