This paper is devoted to understanding the role of the mayor and informal leaders at the city level during a government-organized street vendor relocation project in Yogyakarta, Java. It describes how the informal leaders involved in this street vendor relocation varied in their styles, goals, and methods, and argues that the political actors who actively accepted and distributed money from the government attracted less suspicion than the “purists” because their interests were clear and explicit. The mayor also displayed a leadership style that highlighted his capacity to listen to and “dialogue” with the traders in order to compete with the informal leaders for the support of the traders.


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