This study looks at a socio-environmental conflict over a tourism megaproject in the Benoa Bay in Bali, Indonesia. This conflict is interesting because it crystallizes key questions about the future of the island. Intriguingly, all the conflicting groups of actors mobilize the same philosophy of Tri Hita Karana (THK), which can be translated as the “three causes of well-being” and which is said to guide the development policies of the island. Our objective is to investigate how THK relates to the conflict and to what extent some of its interpretations are growth-critical. Using political ecology as a theoretical lens and qualitative methods, we find that the conflicting groups do not oppose each other through different languages of valuation, but within them. Likewise, THK is only superficially “one” idiom of valuation. In reality, THK covers different visions of development, depending on the actors involved. We identify three broad ways of interpreting THK in this conflict: (i) a marketable way, (ii) an equity-oriented way, and (iii) a radical-integral way, which bears similarities with post-growth views. This article is a contribution to the emerging debates on post-growth thinking from the “global South” and to the radical critique of tourism industry in developing regions.

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Keywords post-growth, Tri Hita Karana, environmental conflict, languages of valuation, tourism development, Bali
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Journal Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Adityanandana, M., & Gerber, J. (2019). Post-growth in the Tropics? Contestations over Tri Hita Karana and a tourism megaproject in Bali. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. doi:10.1080/09669582.2019.1666857